About Paid Family & Medical Leave

Our mission: To provide an easily accessible benefit that helps employers and employees maintain economic stability and peace of mind in challenging times.

Our vision: Washingtonians are able to take the time to care for themselves and the people they love.

Starting in 2020, Washington will be the fifth state in the nation to offer paid family and medical leave benefits to workers. The program will be funded by premiums paid by both employees and many employers, and will be administered by the Employment Security Department (ESD). This insurance program will allow workers to take up to 12 weeks, as needed, when they welcome a new child into their family, are struck by a serious illness or injury, need to take care of an ill or ailing relative and for certain military connected events. 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.

As directed by the Legislature, premium assessment begins on Jan. 1, 2019 and benefits can be taken starting Jan. 1, 2020.