OLYMPIA – Rep. Gael Tarleton (D-Ballard) introduced a bill, HB 1163, that will require most public and private employers in Washington to provide paid vacation leave for qualifying workers.
“It’s time we bring fairness and equality back to the workplace,” said Tarleton. “As a society, employees are increasingly overworked and are not seeing the benefits from a growing economy, especially if they’re working multiple jobs to earn a living and take care of their families.”
Under the proposal, a minimum threshold of paid vacation hours would be established. After six months of employment, full-time and part-time employees would be entitled to two hours of paid vacation for every 40 hours worked. Private organizations with fewer than ten employees and schools are exempted.
“This is truly needed and exciting legislation,” said John de Graaf, executive director of Take Back Your Time. “The U.S. is the only wealthy nation which does not guarantee paid vacation by law. Passage of this bill will demonstrate Washington state’s leadership on another issue of utmost importance to Americans. It will improve our health, happiness, family life, and productivity. It is long overdue.”
The Washington Department of Labor and Industries would be responsible for ensuring compliance. Nothing in the legislation requires employers to make changes to existing paid vacation policies that are more generous than the minimums outlined in Tarleton’s bill.