Paid Family and Medical Leave: Washington FMLA

Washington state recently began administering a new Paid Family and Medical Leave program that requires almost all employers to meet requirements, including making premium contributions based on wages.

With the growing popularity of paid leave programs, many states have enacted laws to allow workers to take time off for medical and family reasons. Fortunately, Washington state is one of them and has a program that began paying benefits in January 2020. Employees must meet certain eligibility criteria to receive these benefits. Washington State’s FMLA program is funded by payroll taxes on employers and employees. Employees who take the time off can receive compensation up to 90% of their regular pay (up to a maximum of $1,427 in 2023).

Washington FMLA Eligibility

Typically, employees are eligible to take up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave if they work a qualifying period. This includes full-time and part-time workers, seasonal and temporary workers. These leaves are job-protected and can be used for a variety of reasons, including medical needs, pregnancy complications, caring for a sick family member, or military exigency.

The PFML program is mandatory for employers that have 50 or more employees in Washington. Employers must either participate in the state-run program or pay into a private voluntary plan. In addition, they must notify employees about their rights and provide them with a copy of the PFML rules. Moreover, they must also include the information on their employment poster. Additionally, they must inform employees of any changes in eligibility rules.

UW Employee Eligibility for Washington FMLA

UW Employee Eligibility for Washington FMLA

If you are a UW employee, you may be eligible for Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) as well as the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). FMLA and PFML do not run concurrently and must be used for different reasons. To be eligible for PFML, you must have worked at least 820 hours in the past year and have experienced a qualifying event. The UW pays employees while they are on PFML leave for up to 16 weeks.

To be eligible for FMLA, you must have worked for the University for at least 12 months and 1,250 hours in the year before taking leave. You must also have a qualifying event and work at a location that has 50 or more employees. In addition, your employer must have a written policy that provides information about FMLA eligibility and procedures for applying for leave.

To qualify for FMLA, you must submit a medical certification from your health care provider that shows that you need to take time off due to a serious health condition or to care for a loved one with a serious health condition. Your employer must provide you with a written notice of the eligibility criteria, including a description of the conditions that require leave and whether the absence will be taken continuously or intermittently.

FMLA Washington Application

To apply for FMLA, an employee must complete the appropriate application and submit it to their employer. This includes a certification form completed by a healthcare provider to provide medical documentation supporting the need for leave. It is important to complete the form accurately to ensure your application is processed correctly.

In addition to the application, employees must be aware of other critical documents and requirements associated with FMLA. For example, all covered employers must post a general notice about FMLA and provide employees with an eligibility notice. The Department has developed optional-use forms that can be used by covered employers to satisfy these notice requirements.

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