Washington Death in Family: What you need to know

Washington law does not require bereavement time off for employees working in the private sector; however, most employers do offer workers some form of time off for bereavement after the death of a loved one.
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State employees. State employees are entitled to 3 days of paid bereavement leave to mourn the death of a family or household member. The employer may, in accordance with the established leave policy, require verification of the family or household member’s death.
The employer may also approve an employee’s request to use other paid leave (accrued compensatory time, sick leave, vacation leave, and/or a personal holiday) or to take leave without pay for purposes of bereavement.
A family member includes a spouse, parent, sibling, child, grandchild, grandparent, stepparent, or parent-in-law. Household members are those who reside in the same home and who have reciprocal duties to provide financial support for one another. This does not include persons living in a dormitory or commune (WA Admin. Code Sec. 357-31-250).
Employee assistance programs (EAPs). Employers that have an EAP may consider offering bereaved employees the opportunity to see a grief counselor through the EAP.
Last reviewed on January 12, 2017.

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