The state of Washington offers Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) benefits to eligible workers. The statewide program is administered by the Employment Security Department (ESD). PFML is a mandatory statewide insurance program funded at WSU by Employer and Employee premiums. When leave is taken, the benefit is paid by the State of Washington rather than the employer.
IMPORTANT NOTE: PFML is separate from requesting a leave of absence and time offs through WSU. Employee’s continue to be required to request LOAs and record all of their time offs (Annual, sick, leave without pay) in Workday during their associated absences. See Notice and requesting leave through the University for more information.
To qualify for PFML, employees 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 the employee intends to take leave. This benefit cannot be taken without a qualifying event. Leave events can be either Family or Medical.
Where You Work Matters
Please note: If your work is not “localized” (you do not work) in the state of Washington you may not be eligible for PFML benefits. The linked ESD PFML Localization Test Flow Chart is for illustration purposes only. Please contact ESD for specific information and eligibility rules. If you are localized in a state other than the state of Washington and your home location/state has a paid leave program, you may be eligible for benefits through the associated program. As of January 2023 the following jurisdiction also have paid leave programs: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, and Washington, DC.
- 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
- Care for self in relation to an illness or medical event
Family members include: Spouse (including registered domestic partner), children (including step and foster), parents (including in-law and loco parentis), siblings, grandchildren and grandparents.
Typically, up to 12 weeks of paid leave. If workers experience multiple events in a given year, they may be eligible to receive up to 16 weeks, or up to 18 weeks if the employee experiences a serious health condition with a pregnancy that results in incapacity.
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 $1,456 per week. Calculate your benefits with ESD HERE
Employees will have the option of receiving their benefits in the form of direct deposit or a prepaid debit card.
PFML is a statewide program and does not replace Federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
Effective August 1, 2020, employees may use ONLY annual leave, sick leave, personal holiday, or compensatory time, during a period when the employee is receiving partial wage replacement under Title 50A RCW as a supplemental benefit. Employees are responsible for identifying the dates they are approved for PFML and those dates and times in which they choose to supplement their PFML benefits with leave on their absence calendar in Workday and submitting timely.
Starting in January 2020, employees can apply for benefits through the ESD online Worker login or on paper. Filing a claim for PFML benefits with the ESD is a separate process from filing for a medical leave of absence from WSU. Employees applying for a leave of absence from their appointment with WSU continue to follow the processes outlined in BPPM 60.56 or BPPM 60.57 and on the Medical Leave website.
After applying for PFML benefits, the ESD will review hours worked in the state of Washington to confirm eligibility. There is a seven (7) day waiting period before an employee may be eligible for PFML benefits, for all types of leave except parental bonding, medical leave taken during the “postnatal period” and military exigency. Once the ESD approves the claim, individuals will submit weekly claims to the ESD for the paid benefit.
In Workday: The ESD will notify HRS of PFML designations. Employees who have applied and are approved for the PFML Leave of Absence (LOA), will see the approved LOA “designation” on their Absence Calendar for the duration of the LOA, whether it be needed on a full-time part-time or intermittent time off basis. This designation allows a person on the designated leave(s) to have access to and utilize time offs or supplemental benefits specific to that LOA designation. See Workday Knowledge base reference guide Employee Request a Leave of Absence for time off entry when on a LOA.
Notice and requesting leave through the University
If employees know about the leave before it happens, the employee will need to give the University written notice at least thirty (30) days in advance. Examples include: expected birth, placement of a child, or planned medical treatment or surgery. If need for leave is unforeseeable and when thirty (30) days notice is not possible, employees are to provide the University written notice as soon as is practicable. Examples include: a medical emergency, sudden illness or injury. Additionally, the employee must inform the University as soon as is practicable if dates of the scheduled leave change, are extended, or were initially unknown. WAC 192-600-005
Notifications and employee application for University medical leaves of absence from their appointment with WSU continue to follow the processes outlined on the Medical Leave website. An employee may submit the medical documentation supplied to the ESD for PFML benefits to WSU in the application for medical leave from WSU
- Paid Family & Medical Leave – Statement of Employee Rights (English)
- Paid Family & Medical Leave – Statement of Employee Rights (Spanish)
- Washington State Paid Family and Medical Leave
- Application Checklist
- Get Ready to Apply
- After You Apply
- Technical Assistance: Creating account, applying, filing claims and more
- Substitute Senate Bill 5975 Paid Family and Medical Leave
Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @PaidLeaveWA
Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, Stalking Leave and Protections
Long Term Disability
Paid Family and Medical Leave
Military Related Leaves
Faculty Modified Duties
Leave Policies & Programs
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