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Documents and Forms

Paid sick days, FMLA, Unemployment and other programs

How is Paid Leave different from paid sick days?

Paid Family and Medical Leave helps replace some of your wages when something major keeps you away from work. Paid sick days are a benefit provided by employers that can be used for less serious or short-term health conditions that keep you from working, typically for less than a week.

Is Paid Family and Medical Leave the same as the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)?

No. Paid Family and Medical Leave and FMLA are different. Examples of differences:

Paid Family and Medical Leave:

  • Is a state program just for people working in Washington
  • Offers paid leave
  • Is available to workers in businesses of all sizes, including small businesses
  • Has a broader definition of “family,” including siblings and grandparents

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA):

  • Is a federal program throughout the U.S.
  • Offers unpaid leave
  • Is only available to workers in businesses of 50 or more employees

Similarities:

Job protection under FMLA and Paid Family and Medical Leave is similar. This leave will usually run concurrently when people are eligible for both.

Can I receive private short-term disability insurance payments at the same time as Paid Family and Medical Leave?

It depends on the terms of your disability insurance policy. Contact your insurance provider to see if you can file for disability payments at the same time as paid family or medical leave.

How does Paid Family and Medical Leave work with FMLA?

The use of FMLA does not reduce your allowed Paid Family and Medical Leave benefit, so it is possible to use both types of leave. It is important to note that Paid Family and Medical Leave and FMLA can usually run concurrently too, since many Paid Family and Medical Leave events also qualify for FMLA.

Can I use paid time, like vacation or sick leave (supplemental benefits), at the same time as Paid Family and Medical Leave?

You can use employer-provided paid time off (supplemental benefits) at the same time as Paid Family and Medical Leave, but it will reduce the amount you’ll be paid for that week (though it does not reduce the total hours of leave for which you can get paid). Other supplemental benefits that your employer may provide do not affect your Paid Leave pay.

Do I have to use other leave, like vacation or sick time, before I use Paid Family and Medical Leave?

No. Your employer cannot require you to use Paid Family and Medical Leave before or after other paid or unpaid time off you might have, like paid sick days or vacation leave. Taking Paid Family and Medical Leave is entirely up to you.

What is a supplemental benefit?

A supplemental benefit is a payment from an employer to an employee to make up the difference between their regular wage and the benefit paid by Paid Family and Medical Leave. This could be salary continuation, or paid time off (PTO). These payments must be in addition to any paid family or medical leave benefits the employee is receiving.

 

What if I’m receiving unemployment benefits — can I also get paid leave?

If you are now laid off or furloughed, and are experiencing a family or medical event, you can apply for both unemployment and Paid Family Medical Leave. But you cannot receive both benefits at the same time—you will need to take them one at a time. If you don’t have a social security number, you can only apply for Paid Family and Medical Leave.