Thursday, August 17, 2017

Washington Enacts Paid Family, Medical Leave Insurance

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PNN: WA Paid Family Leave

On July 5, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed paid family and medical leave insurance legislation [S.B. 5975, L. 2017]. Effective January 1, 2020, eligible employees will be entitled to paid leave to care for a new child or sick family member. Effective January 1, 2019, employers and employees will begin making contributions to fund the program. The Washington Department of Labor and Industries will administer the program.

Plan Funded Through Payroll Deductions
Employers and employees will both make contributions to the paid family and medical leave insurance program through payroll deductions.

Beginning January 1, 2019, the total premium will be 0.4% of an employee’s wages (up to a maximum amount that will be set annually). The employer will pay at least 37% and the employee will pay 63%.

Example: A full-time worker earning $15 an hour ($600 per week) would contribute $1.51 per week toward the benefit, while the employer would pay 89 cents (for a total of $2.40 per week). An employer may elect to pay all or any portion of the employee’s contribution.

Paid Family Leave Previously Enacted, Never Took Effect
On May 8, 2007, a family leave insurance program that would have provided up to five weeks of paid leave to care for a newborn or newly adopted child was signed into law in Washington. The law was set to take effect in 2009, but was delayed and never took effect. The law did not provide how the program was to be funded and a funding mechanism was never agreed upon.

Pay News Now will continue to monitor any states that enact paid family and medical leave.