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Businesses and Employers

Guidance and resources for businesses and employers.

Good to Know

Find information about the governor’s vaccine requirements for employees and contractors of state agencies, health care providers, educational institutions and childcare settings.
Ask about reopening plans, worker safety, unemployment, sick leave, and more. You may also file a complaint against a business.
Read the latest opening guidance.
Sign up for the monthly economic and business resilience newsletter.
Toolkit for employers to help staff get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Learn more about the newest round of federal PPP and disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Washington reopening guidance

Resources from State Agencies

Department of Labor and Industries (L&I)
L&I is for workplace safety and rights for workers. They will also serve as an enforcement arm of Safe Start restrictions.

Employment Security Department (ESD)
ESD is offering relief to affected workers and information to businesses statewide that may help them employ and retain their workers.

Department of Health (DOH)
DOH is a primary source for data on the coronavirus and guidance to slow the spread.

Department of Commerce (COM)
Commerce is responding to the crisis by arranging funding, grants, loans, and resources for Washington businesses.

Insurance Information

Liquor and Cannabis Board
Administration and enforcement of liquor, cannabis, tobacco and vapor laws

Washington State Department of Agriculture
Administration and support for the agriculture community

Washington State Human Rights Commission
The Washington State Human Rights Commission (WSHRC) is a state agency responsible for administering and enforcing the Washington Law Against Discrimination.

Technical Assistance for Small Business

Worker Benefits


Workers affected by the pandemic may be eligible for unemployment benefits.

You may have questions about resuming your operations and bringing employees back to the workplace. Here are some additional resources to help answer your questions:

  • Can employees refuse offers of work and continue to collect unemployment? Check out ESD's return to work information and refusal of work information.
  • Do you need to reduce employee hours but want to avoid layoffs? SharedWork may be able to help. Businesses that can reduce work hours by 10-50%, instead of laying off an employee, can keep workers employed in a way that makes them eligible for benefits.
  • Looking to post a job or connect with potential employees? is a powerful job-match site for workers searching for the right opportunity and employers looking for the right candidate. Employers can post unlimited job postings, automatically rank applicants, and compare candidates side-by-side. Job seekers can use advanced search tools to browse thousands of openings.

Paid Sick Leave

Workers may use accrued paid sick leave if their employer is shut down due to a health-related reason, including COVID-19.

Additionally, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires certain employers to provide workers with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19.

Paid Family and Medical Leave

Paid Family and Medical Leave is available to workers that require time off to care for themselves or a family member due to a qualifying event. This includes one’s own serious health condition, caring for a seriously ill or injured loved one or welcoming a new child into the family. This benefit also applies to some military-connected events for military families.

Guidance for State Agencies and Local Governments

  • The state Emergency Management Division has activated resources for state and local governments, tribal governments and to certain non-profits.

  • The state’s Office of Financial Management can help governments manage various workplace issues related to COVID-19.

  • The Department of Enterprise Services offers services for state agencies and municipal governments including facilities and lease management, accounting, human resources, risk management, contracting and printing.

  • The Department of Commerce has compiled a list of federal and state funding available to local governments.

Mental and emotional well-being of employees

These resources can help you support your employees as they return to work.

If your company offers an employee assistance program, be sure to remind your workers how to make use of that benefit.