Washington workers will start paying for Paid Family Leave on Tuesday

Washington workers will start paying for Paid Family Leave on Tuesday

Starting Tuesday, January 1, employees in Washington state will see a small portion of their pay taken out of their paycheck for the state’s new Paid Family and Medical Leave program.

Premiums of 0.4 percent of wages will be collected, with 63 percent paid by employees and 37 percent paid by employers. According to the Employment Security Department, an employee making $50,000 a year would pay about $2.44 a week, while their employer would pay about $1.41 a week.

The new law was passed with bi-partisan support in the Legislature and signed by Gov. Jay Inslee in 2017.

It will provide eligible workers with up to 12 weeks paid time off for the birth or adoption of a child, a serious medical condition of the worker or the worker’s family member, or 16 weeks for a combination of both.

Paid leave is capped at 16 weeks if the employee needs both types of time off in a one-year period. An additional two weeks may be used if there is a serious health condition with a pregnancy.

Depending on their earnings, employees will receive up to 90% of their wage or salary or up to $1,000 per week during their leave. Employees become eligible for the program after working 820 hours

Although workers will start paying into the new program in 2019, the paid time off will not be available until 2020. If you have more questions about the program, check here.

Washington is the fifth state to implement a program for Paid Family and Medical Leave, joining California, New Jersey, Rhode Island and New York.

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