*This post has been updated with new information!
Good news: Thanks primarily to great work from council members Nick Licata and Tim Burgess, the Seattle City Council has the votes to pass paid sick leave legislation next Monday—legislation that will allow up to 190,000 restaurant servers, grocery store employees, retail clerks, and other employees to start accruing paid sick time off.
Even better news: The legislation that will be passed contains none of the amendments that I wrote about at length in this week's paper. Which isn't to say that the ordinance will pass unmolested—council members Tim Burgess, Sally Clark, Jean Godden, Nick Licata and Bruce Harrell only agreed to pass the ordinance by tacking on a handful of new amendments.
The most significant amendment affects the rate at which workers earn paid time off. While the legislation previously stipulated that workers in small companies (with fewer than 50 employees) accrue one hour of paid time off for every 50 hours worked, and medium-sized companies (51-250 employees) accrue one hour per 35 hours worked, employees at both small- and medium-sized companies will now earn one hour of paid time off per 40 hours worked.
In addition, one category of of businesses—"large employers" with 1,000-plus workers—has been subsumed in the 250-plus category, and employees in this tier will earn 1.5 hours of paid time off for every 30 hours worked. (Update: For employers in this tier who already offer paid time off policies that pool paid sick leave with vacation time, employees can accrue up to 13.5 leave days per year, instead of nine).
This is a concession on behalf of because paid sick leave proponents, who were fighting hard to require large employers to offer 18 days of paid time off to their employees (nine days of which would be reserved for paid sick leave).
Shift swapping, which used to just apply to small- and medium-sized businesses, has been extended to all businesses. However, it's also been limited to the restaurant industry, only.
Construction workers and other employees who only work part-time in Seattle will now have to work for 240 hours within city limits (as opposed to the ordinance's previously stated 120 hours) before they can start using paid sick leave.
Seasonal employees can keep their previously accrued sick leave if they're re-hired within seven months, instead of nine months, as previously proposed.
Finally: The ordinance will now go into effect for every company in September 2012, with a requirement for the Seattle City auditor to evaluate the impacts of the new law on employers one year after its been in effect.