Washington Death in Family: What you need to know

Offering support and assistance to an employee who has suffered a loss in his or her family can be difficult because people often feel unsure about how to respond to the employee's loss. However, the bereaved employee will usually appreciate the offer of assistance and support from the workplace.
Managers and supervisors can be particularly helpful in communications with the employee by making sure that he or she understands and uses available bereavement leave benefits, conveying to co-workers information the employee wants communicated (e.g., time and place of memorial service), and assuring the employee that work is being handled. Managers can also help interested volunteers organize a system to provide meals, babysitting services, transportation, and other assistance to the bereaved employee. Most companies arrange for flowers to be sent, and many employers have a representative from the company attend the funeral or memorial service.
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Washington law does not require bereavement time off for employees working in the private sector.
State employees. State employees may use up to 3 days of paid bereavement leave for the death of a family member or household member. 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).

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