Washington Passes Legislation Requiring Paid Family Leave

June, 2007

Washington's Governor Christine Gregoire recently signed legislation requiring paid family leave. The new program will come into effect October 1, 2009, and allow workers to take paid time off to care for a newborn or recently adopted child. The program includes all parents of newborn or newly adopted children who have worked at least 680 hours in the previous year.

Eligible employees will receive $250 per week for up to 5 weeks after a one week waiting period. Part time (less than 35 hours per week) employees are given a prorated amount. The new program includes job protection for employees who work for companies with more than 25 employees and who have been with their company for at least one year and worked at least 1,250 hours in the previous year.

State legislators authorized an $18 million loan to pay for the leave program’s first two years. A taskforce will be meeting to determine a funding method for the program to take effect after the initial two years. Washington joins California as the only two states to offer paid family leave.


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