The Effect of Seattle’s Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance on Workers’ Employment Trajectories

Hilary Wething , University of Washington, Seattle

This paper provides a comprehensive evaluation of Seattle’s 2012 Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance (PSSTO) on workers’ employment and earnings trajectories. I draw on restricted-access administrative data from Washington State’s Unemployment Insurance program, which provides quarterly hours and earnings data for all workers and their employers to investigate the policy impacts on workers’ likelihood of remaining employed, their job tenure and turnover, and their overall earnings and hours volatility. I use a difference-in-difference framework to compare labor market characteristics of workers’ in firms with FTE sizes directly below the mandated coverage threshold (Firms with 2 - = 4 FTEs) with workers in firms with FTE sizes directly above the mandated overage threshold (Firms with 2 - = 6 FTEs). To assess this potential treatment heterogeneity, I further conduct subgroup analysis based on workers’ industry, earnings quintile and labor market attachment.

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 Presented in Session 8. Economy, Labor Force, Education, & Inequality