2018 has been a busy year for setting up Washington’s new paid family and medical leave program. Starting in January, the rest of us get to start pitching in.


January 1, 2019 is when employees and employers across the state begin making the payroll premium investments that will fund benefits. You can calculate your expected premium here – an employee making $50,000 would contribute just $2.44 per week.

An important new benefit promoting worker, family, and business health

Starting in 2020, when someone needs extended time off to care for family or a health crisis, paid leave will be available. Whether it’s welcoming a new child, caring for a critically ill loved one, coping with a family member’s military deployment, facing cancer or recovering from a debilitating accident, employees will be able to take up to 12 weeks – and in certain situations 18 weeks – of leave, with benefits paid through the state program.

Especially for employers…

Employers will play a big role in making the program a success. If you run a yoga studio with 3 employees, or a nonprofit with 20, or are the CEO of a 500 person company, now is the time to prepare. Fortunately, the Employment Security Department (ESD) is making it easy with a toolkit and premium calculator to help employers get ready.
January 1, 2019, employers begin:
1. Tracking wages and hours of all employees, including part-time and temporary, to report in April (and every quarter);
2. Withholding employee share of premium (employers may opt to pay the full premium themselves)
Learn more about special provisions for small businesses here. Self-employed people and contractors can also opt in!


Stay tuned for more updates- coming soon!

Washington Work and Family Coalition

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