Category Archives: Family and Medical Leave

Paid Family and Medical Leave Begins Jan 2, 2020

Workers and some employers in Washington State began paying into the Paid Family and Medical Leave program in January 2019. As of January 2, 2020, applications will be processed for the payment of benefits.

When Can Paid Leave Be Taken?

There are three main types of paid leave available, each related to a different type of qualifying event: medical leave, family leave, or military leave.

Nearly every Washington worker can qualify for paid leave as long as they worked a minimum of 820 hours (about 16 hours a week) in Washington during the qualifying period, which is about the last year. The 820 hours can be at one job or combined from multiple jobs.

When you take paid leave, you will receive up to 90 percent of your weekly pay—up to a maximum of $1,000 a week. Use the online calculator to estimate how much your weekly pay would be.

Get More Information and Apply Online

You can find all the details about Paid Family and Medical Leave on the State’s website,

Find out more about WA’s Paid Family and Medical Leave

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WA State Paid Family and Medical Leave Program Draft Rules – Open Town Hall and Online Portal

The WA Employment Security Department is seeking stakeholder and public comment on the new Paid Family and Medical Leave Program. There is an online portal for posing questions and making comments. The rule making process is already well underway, but time remains for your input.

Paid Family and Medical Leave Program

Starting in 2020, Washington will be the fifth state in the nation to provide paid family and medical leave benefits to workers and employers. The program will be funded by premiums paid by both employees and employers, and ensure workers can take necessary time off when they welcome a new child into their family, are struck by extended illness or injury, or need to take care of an ill or ailing relative. 

Paid Family and Medical Leave will help millions of Washington workers and employers better balance work, health and family. Your feedback is crucial to ensuring this program will best serve those using it. 

Click here to go to the portal, read draft rules and submit your feedback. There is also a general comment and question forum now open on the site. You can view that forum by clicking here.

When you post your first comment, you may choose to create an account or post anonymously. 

Creating an account:

  • Allows the Employment Security Department to respond to your questions.
  • Allows you to like other comments.
  • Gives you the option to make your comments visible to the public.
  • Makes future commenting easier.

Comments submitted anonymously will not be visible to the public. Any personal information provided will be kept confidential, according to a strict privacy agreement.

You can see a full timeline of dates and deadlines related to Phase 1 rulemaking here, or visit our rulemaking site for more information. 

Second draft of phase 1 rules now available

Thanks to input from the Advisory Committee and stakeholders across Washington, the second draft of rules related to our state’s upcoming Paid Family and Medical Leave program is now available. Read these draft rules here.

Phase 1 of the rulemaking process relates to:

  • Voluntary plans
  • Collective bargaining agreements
  • Premium liability

Read the list of laws these fall under here.

As a reminder, Washington’s Paid Family and Medical Leave program will start collecting premiums on Jan. 1, 2019 and begin paying benefits on Jan. 1, 2020.

For more information, visit our Paid Family and Medical Leave website.

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