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Paid Family and Medical Leave

The Paid Family and Medical Leave program is a new state-run insurance benefit passed by the Legislature in 2017.

Beginning in 2020, it allows most employees to receive up to 12 weeks of paid leave for:

  • Bonding after the birth or placement of a child.
  • An employee's serious health condition.
  • A serious health condition of a qualifying family member.
  • Certain military events.


The Employment Security Department ( administers the Paid Family and Medical Leave program.

Visit or call 1-833-717-2273 for full Paid Family and Medical Leave details.

You may also have benefits available from your employer today under the Paid Sick Leave program administered by L&I. This program began January 1, 2018 and is available to most employees.

Basics for Employees

The Paid Family and Medical Leave program is being phased-in over the next year. Benefits will be available starting in 2020.

  • Starting January 1, 2019, deductions of up to 0.4% will start being taken from most employee's paychecks.
  • Starting January 1, 2020, employees can access their new paid leave benefits.

Benefits will provide a percentage of the employee's gross wages – between $100-1,000 per week – while the employee is on approved leave.
To receive your benefits under the Paid Family and Medical Leave program, you must work a total of at least 820 hours for any Washington employers during the previous 12 months.

Basics for Employers

Most employers, regardless of size, will have the responsibility to:

  • Collect premiums from all employees.
  • Report employees' wages, hours worked, and other information to Employment Security Department.
  • Post the required poster and notices in the workplace.

Employers can provide paid family and medical leave benefits either through the state-run program, or purchase a voluntary private plan that provides benefits equal to or greater than the state minimum requirements.

The following employers are exempt from the program:

  • Federal employers and employees.
  • Federally recognized Tribes*.
  • Self-employed individuals*.

* Tribes and self-employed individuals can opt-in to the program.


For questions or more information, please contact the Employment Security Department at 1-833-717-2273 or email


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