Starting October 1, 2015, all eligible employees in Washington are slated to receive a maximum of five weeks of paid family leave for the birth or adoption of a child under a state-sponsored insurance program. However, a bill is currently pending before the Commerce and Labor Committee of the Washington State Senate to repeal this law. A hearing on the repeal is scheduled for Monday, January 28, at 1:30 p.m.
If this law is not repealed, an employee qualifies for the paid leave by working at least 680 hours during the qualifying year, which is defined as either the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters (i.e., three-month periods) or the last four completed calendar quarters immediately preceding the first date of the family leave.
The maximum weekly benefit for full-time employees (who work 35 hours or more a week) is $250. For employees who work fewer than 35 hours, the maximum weekly benefit is prorated. The employee is not compensated for the first seven calendar days of his or her family leave.
Only employers that have 25 or more employees are required to reinstate the employee upon conclusion of his or her paid family leave, provided he or she has worked at least 1,250 hours during the previous year.
Washington's law is modeled after California's and New Jersey's paid leave insurance programs.
Employee Leaves > FMLA: Washington