With Governor Inslee’s signature on July 5, 2017, Washington State joined just a handful of states mandating paid family and medical leave. Washington’s leave is funded by both employers and employees, and employees will be eligible to receive benefits beginning in 2020. The new paid leave program provides benefits of up to 90 percent of the employee’s income and matches Washington, D.C., in providing the highest percentage of income benefit of any state or district in the United States.
The key aspects of this new paid family and medical leave law are as follows:
With these impending changes, employers may want to begin reviewing and revising their employee handbooks and policies. Employers with unionized workforces can expect paid family and medical leave to be a topic in future negotiations.
The commissioner of the Washington State Employment Security Department is charged with developing rules to implement the new paid family and medical leave law, and Ogletree Deakins will provide more information when those rules are released by the commissioner.