The Washington State Family Leave Act (FLA) provides family leave for medical reasons, for the birth or placement of a child, and for the care of a family member who has a serious health condition (WA Rev. Code Sec. 49.78.020).
With a few exceptions discussed below, the state FLA is identical to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and any leave taken under the state law runs concurrently with federal family and medical leave.
Employers must post notices of an employees’ rights and obligations under the law in a conspicuous place where employees would expect to find such notices. This information is provided on the required Your Rights as a Worker
poster, which is available on the state Department of Labor Industries website at www.lni.wa.gov
State law differs from federal FMLA in some respects:
• Pregnancy disability. Leave for sickness or temporary disability because of pregnancy or childbirth does not count against an employee’s FLA leave entitlement. The federal FMLA covers an employee’s pregnancy disability, assuming it meets the standard for a serious health condition.
State pregnancy disability law (separate from the FLA) provides that employers grant a "reasonable leave of absence" for a temporary disability resulting from pregnancy or childbirth, even if they do not offer the same leave for other temporary disabilities. This leave is in addition to the family leave entitlement under the FMLA. The FLA leave must run after the pregnancy disability leave has ended. This means if an employee is eligible for FLA leave and pregnancy disability leave, the employee will be eligible for more leave under the two state laws together than the leave provided ...