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Coming Soon – Paid Family and Medical Leave

Starting in 2020, the state of Washington will offer paid family and medical leave benefits to eligible workers. The statewide program will be administered by the Employment Security Department (ESD). At Washington State University, the program will be funded by premiums paid by both employees and WSU, with premium assessment beginning on January 1, 2019. Employees will be able to use Paid Family Medical Leave benefits starting January 1, 2020. Paid Family and Medical Leave is a mandatory statewide insurance program. Washington workers will have access to this leave when they have worked 820 hours in the qualifying period. When leave is taken, the benefit is paid by the State of Washington rather than the employer.

Rulemaking is ongoing at the state level. Human Resource Services is following the process as the state develops rules and regulations for implementing the leave benefits in 2020.

The below information on the program will continue to be updated and is subject to change as the Rulemaking and state decisions are made.

Additional information may be found on the Paid Family and Medical Leave webpages .

To Apply
Frequently Asked Questions


To qualify for Paid Family and Medical Leave, you must work 820 hours or more in the qualifying period. The qualifying period is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters starting from the day you intend to take leave.This benefit cannot be taken without a qualifying event. Leave events can be either Family or Medical.

Family Leave

  • Care and bond after a baby’s birth or the placement of a child younger than 18
  • Care for a family member experiencing an illness or medical event
  • Certain military-connected events

Medical Leave

  • Care for yourself in relation to an illness or medical event


Typically, up to 12 weeks of paid leave with up to 18 weeks in certain circumstances.

Benefits are noted to be a percentage of the employee’s average weekly pay. The benefit wage replacement is up to 90% of weekly wage with a minimum of $100 per week and a maximum of $1,000 per week.

Paid Family and Medical Leave is a statewide program and does not replace Federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).


Washington State Paid Family and Medical Leave


Substitute Senate Bill 5975 Paid Family and Medical Leave

Paid Family Medical leave Flyer (Available in multiple languages)

To Apply

You must apply for this benefit through the ESD. The application process for taking leave is being created by ESD and is expected to be released in 2019.

Washington State University