Airlines sue over new Washington state sick leave law

SEATTLE -- A coalition of airlines including Alaska, JetBlue, United and Southwest is suing Washington state over its new sick leave law, saying the measure will increase costs and delays for travelers.

Airlines For America filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Tacoma on Tuesday. The organization said a mishmash of state and city laws concerning guaranteeing paid sick leave for workers is making things more difficult for airlines and that such measures are precluded by federal laws and regulations.

Voters approved Washington's Paid Sick Leave Act in 2016 and it took effect Jan. 1. It requires employers to provide one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours worked.

The airlines say the requirements are inconsistent with the way they compensate flight crews.

The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries is working with the state attorney general's office to review the lawsuit, L and I officials said.

Officials said the airline industry previously shared comments with L and I during a lengthy review process.