Business owners ask for repeal of sick leave ordinance, City says no

Business owners ask for repeal of sick leave ordinance, City says no

SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane business owners packed the city council meeting asking for help.

Business owners asked the council to repeal its sick and safe leave ordinance passed earlier this year now that voters approved a statewide paid sick leave initiative in last week's election.

But, business owners did not get what they wanted. City council did not repeal the ordinance and it will still go into effect in January.

Businesses argued that with initiative 1433 going into effect the following year, they'll have to change their policies twice, costing time and money.

The city ordinance mandates smaller businesses give employees three paid sick days and larger businesses give employees five paid sick days.

The passing of Initiative 1433 means that employers would have to comply with Spokane's ordinance in 2017 and the statewide initiative in 2018.

One citizen argued, "it will require employers to adjust their policies twice. To spend time, money and effort to adjust their policies now and again when the sunset provision takes place. I simply ask that the council holds off until we see what 1433 does."

After more than an hour of testimony, city council did not repeal the ordinance, they did however vote in favor of making some amendments to make it easier for businesses to implement.

Council also added a sunset clause, meaning the city ordinance would go off the books when 1433 goes into effect.