About us

About us

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

For Washingtonians to be able to take time to care for themselves and the people they love.

Washington is one of six states that offers Paid Family and Medical Leave benefits to workers. The program is funded by premiums paid by both employees and employers. It is administered by the Employment Security Department (ESD).

As directed by the Legislature, premium assessment began on Jan. 1, 2019 and benefits began on Jan. 1, 2020.

Our process

We know Paid Leave benefits are crucial to Washingtonians. Our top goal has always been to get benefits to customers quickly.

What if our goal had been to build a perfect Paid Leave system before we launched the program? It would have taken years. And when technology takes that much time, it can only solve yesterday’s problems.

Instead, we made a commitment to continuous improvement. We build and improve our systems in short cycles based on the needs of our program and feedback from customers like you.

If something doesn’t work for you, we want to know about it. After all, one of our highest priorities is customer delight.

Thank you for helping us offer the best version of Paid Leave we can. We’re here to help Washingtonians take care of themselves and those they love when they need it most.

Our program

Our history

Media inquiries

For general questions about the program, please contact the Customer Care Team. For media inquiries, please click the link below.

Media inquiries

Advisory Committee

The Paid Family and Medical Leave Advisory Committee consists of eight voting members, four representing employees and four representing employers. An ESD representative and the ombuds are ex officio members. The committee may comment on rules, policies and other specified matters and study issues as the committee determines. 

Learn more on the Advisory Committee page.

Office of the Paid Family and Medical Leave Ombuds

The Ombuds is appointed by the governor and serves as an independent third party to help workers and employers in their dealings with the program. The Office of the Paid Family and Medical Leave Ombuds is a neutral, independent third party and maintains full autonomy from the department.

For more information on their role or to ask for their assistance, visit the Ombuds website.