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New Washington State Paid Family and Medical Leave Program Effective January 1, 2020

The Paid Family and Medical Leave program is a mandatory statewide insurance program that provides paid family and medical leave to eligible employees. Beginning January 1, 2020, family and medical leave will be available and benefits would be payable to qualified employees. The program is administered by the Employment Security Department (ESD). Individuals will be able to apply for paid leave benefits online through ESD’s Paid Family & Medical Leave web page.

Washington’s Paid Family and Medical Leave program does not replace the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). In many cases, PFML and FMLA will run concurrently. The weekly PFML benefit amount is calculated by ESD and will depend on how much the employee earns in a typical week. The maximum weekly benefit is $1,000.

Filing a Claim
Filing a claim for paid leave benefits with ESD is a separate process from taking a leave of absence from the University. Even when an employee has submitted medical or other documentation to support their need for a leave of absence from the University, ESD will ask for documentation to support their claim for paid benefits.
The ESD is still developing their claim process, but generally individuals will create an online account with ESD, provide contact information, leave type requested, dates of the leave, date notice was provided to the University, and documentation supporting the leave of absence. ESD will use hours and wage information they receive quarterly from all employers in Washington to determine eligibility.

After filing a claim, ESD will contact the University to confirm details of the employee’s claim. Once ESD approves the claim, individuals will submit weekly claims to ESD for the paid benefit.

Ongoing Work
UW continues to work with ESD to determine how ESD’s PFML program intersects with UW’s existing paid time off and leave of absence policies.

Policies and Procedures
Read more about Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) on the UWHR website.