December 31, 2019

Paid Family and Medical Leave Benefits Start Jan. 1

By: Andrew Lenderman   Comments: 0

Heads up, Washington employers: The state of Washington has launched a new Paid Family and Medical Leave website. Employees who would like to take advantage of this new benefit can get started with the application process before Jan. 1, when the program officially begins.

Several people have already applied as of Monday, state officials report, including new parents and caretakers for ill family members.

Washington's Paid Family and Medical Leave program allows employees to take time off to manage an illness, care for a family member or welcome a new child into their home, for example. Eligible employees can take 12 weeks off, in most cases, and receive up to 90 percent of their pay, up to $1,000 a week. The program is funded by employers and employees, and managed by the state. Check out the website for more details, including frequently asked questions and a calculator that helps employees estimate their benefits.

The 2017 law that created the program included significant input from business groups led by AWB, labor organizations and Democratic and Republican policymakers.

Employees who want to use the benefit need to apply online at The website also offers an overview and toolkit for employers who need to file quarterly reports with the state Employment Security Department. This AWB video explains more.

For more information, please contact AWB's Bob Battles at

The Paid Family and Medical Leave Law - What Employers Need to Know from Association of WA Business on Vimeo.