Who's eligible for benefits?

To qualify for Paid Family and Medical Leave, you must work 820 hours or more in the qualifying period. The qualifying period is either:

  • The first four of the last five completed calendar quarters; or
  • The last four completed calendar quarters

All Washington employers, including out-of-state employers with Washington employees, are required to participate with few exceptions.


  • Self employed individuals (May opt-in)
  • Federal Employees
  • Federally Recognized Tribes (May opt-in)
  • People who work temporarily in Washington (Example: Utility worker helping after a storm)

Temporary waivers for out-of-state employees

Employers may apply for a conditional waiver for their workers when they meet these three conditions:

  • Physically based outside of the state;
  • Employed in the state on a limited or temporary work schedule; and
  • Not expected to be employed in the state for eight hundred twenty hours or more in a qualifying period.

In-state vs. out-of-state employees

An employee is included in Paid Family and Medical Leave when:

  • All of the employee’s work is performed in Washington; or
  • Most of the employee’s work or services are done in Washington, but some of the work is done temporarily out-of-state.

When work is not located in any state, the worker must participate when:

  • The base of operations is in Washington; or
  • If there is no base of operations, but the place where services are directed is in Washington; or
  • There is no base of operations, no place where services are directed, but the worker lives in Washington.