Washington Leave of Absence (FMLA) laws & compensation compliance analysis

Washington Leave of Absence (FMLA): What you need to know

In addition to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), some states have their own comprehensive family leave laws that may also require employers to grant employees time off for the birth or adoption of a child or to care for a family member with a serious illness.
Washington does have such a law.
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Paid Family and Medical Leave. Beginning January 1, 2020, eligible employees in Washington state will be entitled to up to 18 weeks of paid family and medical leave per year (2017 SB 5975; Wa. Rev. Code Tit. 50A).
Covered employers. “Covered employers” means all public and private employers with at least one person in “employment” in the state of Washington. Employers with fewer than 50 employees may opt out of the employer portion of premiums for family and medical leave.
Covered employees. Federal employees, self-employed workers, and independent contractors are excluded; however, self-employed individuals may opt in to the program if desired.
Family members. “Family member” means a child, grandchild, grandparent, parent, sibling, or spouse of an employee.
“Spouse” means a husband or wife, as the case may be, or a state registered domestic partner.
“Parent” means the biological, adoptive, de facto, or foster parent, stepparent, or legal guardian of an employee or the employee’s spouse or an individual who stood in loco parentis to an employee when the employee was a child.
“Child” includes a biological, adopted, or foster child, a stepchild, or a child to whom the employee stands in loco parentis, is a legal guardian, or is a de facto parent, regardless of age or dependency status.
Leave eligibility. Employees become eligible for family and medical leave ...

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