Paid sick leave ordinance goes in effect Saturday, worrying small Seattle businesses

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SEATTLE —

The city of Seattle’s new “paid sick days” law goes into effect starting Saturday, and small businesses are worried it will cost more and create financial hardship.     

 

KIRO 7 Eyewitness News Stacy Sakamoto spoke with business owners who are concerned about how much the paid days off would cost them.

 

Owners David and Douglass Farage, of Ballard Ornamental Ironworks, were worried the ordinance the City County approved last September would be a high cost.

 

“This would be an added expense like a tax,” said David Farage back in September.

 

Since the passing of the ordinance, the brothers have calculated the number and it hasn’t affected their business too much.

 

“This is true. It didn’t seem like a big jump for us,” said Douglas Farage.

 

Businesses with five or more employees, similar to Ballard Ornamental Ironworks, are now required to provide five paid days off a year.

 

David and Douglas Farage have offered their employees paid days off after one year. After two years, employees get 10 days off.

 

The law would require bigger companies with 250 employees to offer at least nine days off.

 

Buckley’s in Belltown owner, Tim Buckley, employs 50 people between two Seattle pubs. He told KIRO 7 he also gives his employees paid time off even before the law will go into effect.

 

“It’s not a big concern to me, but to have it mandated, this is the way it has to do,” Buckley said.

 

Buckley does not expect the law will hurt his business, but he feels there will be a cumulative effect after an increase in the minimum wage and downtown parking rates.

 

“You got to raise your price. You can’t raise them too far though because you don’t want to drive away people, but you got to make enough to make ends meet,” Buckley said.

 

Buckley also told KIRO 7 that football season is the busiest time of the year so that will help with finances.