Does Paid Sick Leave Affect Job Turnover?

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An updated version of this paper was uploaded on May 17, 2022.


Hilary Wething, Pennsylvania State University (Penn State)


This paper examines the impact of Seattle’s 2012 paid sick leave law on job turnover using unique administrative employer-employee matched data. Proponents of paid sick leave laws argue that the policy can improve workers’ economic security, yet there is relatively little work that examines the impact of local laws on job turnover. Using difference-in-differences and generalized synthetic control designs, this study finds that the Seattle’s paid sick leave policy did not have an impact on hires, separations, or turnover. These findings likely reflect the accrual-based policy design and exemptions for key employment groups, patterns that are supported by survey and qualitative evidence.

August 31, 2021



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