Washington Latest to add Paid Family-Leave

Governor Jay Inslee officially signed into law a bipartisan plan that will now guarantee eligible workers 12 weeks of paid time off for the birth or adoption of a child, or for a serious medical condition of the worker or worker's family member.  This will be effective in 2020.  Washington now joins four other states who have paid family-leave programs: California, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and New York.  The District of Columbia has a paid family-leave program scheduled to take effect in July 2020.

The bill is one of the most generous in the nation, as low-wage workers may collect at least 90% of their weekly income.  Workers may have two additional two weeks for complicated pregnancies.

The law calls for both employers and the employees to pay into the system- where weekly benefits are calculated based on the percentage of the employee's wages and the state's weekly average wage($1,082).  The weekly amount paid out is capped at $1,000 per week.  To qualify, employees must work at least 820 hours.