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Coverage under the Tacoma Municipal Code (TMC) Chapter 18.10 "Paid Sick Leave" is based on where work is performed and not where a business’s office or headquarters is located. Paid Sick Leave applies to all employees working within Tacoma City Limits for 80+ hours per year, even if the business is based in another city or state.


Check if your workplace is in the City of Tacoma


Does your paid time off/sick time policy check out?

If you already offer paid time off, double check to be sure it meets the requirements of law. The City’s Paid Time Off Policy Checklists can help you quickly determine whether you need to make any tweaks to your current plan to be in compliance.


Employer responsibilities

TMC 18.10 and the Paid Sick Leave Rules contain all the requirements of the law. Employer responsibilities include providing notice to employees about their right to paid sick leave, maintaining records to document paid sick leave, and certifying compliance annually as part of their business license renewal. If a business license is not required for your organization, you can submit your certification form online

Flexibility for employers

TMC 18.10 provides employers with the ability to set their own “Calendar Year” using the traditional calendar year beginning January 1, the 12-month period beginning on the date of an employee’s hire, or the company’s fiscal year. Employers must declare and consistently use one option to serve as their “Calendar Year” for all employees.  Employers have the option to "front load" hours at the beginning of the calendar year instead of tracking ongoing accrual of Paid Sick Leave.  Additionally, a wide variety of optional policies can be put in place by establishing a written policy:

  • Attendance policies that require documentation for absences
  • Donations of leave to coworkers
  • Use of leave in increments of more or less than one hour
  • Shift swapping / substitute shifts
  • Pay out of accrued leave

More information on these policies can be found in TMC 18.10 and the Paid Sick Leave Rules.

Rights protected

Interfering with, restraining, or attempting to deny the exercise of any right protected under TMC 18.10 or the Paid Sick Leave Rules is prohibited. Retaliation and/or absence control polices which include adverse action for an employee’s use of Paid Sick Leave are violations of TMC 18.10  and may result in citation and/or civil penalties.

Have questions?

More information can be found on the Employer Frequently Asked Questions page or within TMC 18.10 and the Paid Sick Leave Rules. Do you have additional questions? Email us or call (253) 591-5306.