Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) Act

SLPC 29640 06/19 (exp. 06/21)

Last updated June 28, 2019

Complying with WA PFML

Washington has passed a paid family and medical leave law that will require employers to provide paid family and medical leave (PFML) benefits to employees who work in the state starting January 1, 2020. Premium collection to support these benefits began January 1, 2019. Premium is funded by employee and employer contributions. The Washington Employment Security Department (ESD) is the agency responsible for administering the PFML law. Information from the ESD can be accessed here and the state has created a PFML website that can be at www.paidleave.wa.gov.

This site is created for our broker and employer Clients to help them comply with employer responsibilities under the WA PFML law.  Please visit this site often for updates as the regulations and ESD polices evolve.


  • January 1, 2019 – Date premium deductions began
  • July 1, 2019 – First date employers will be able to create Paid Leave accounts with the ESD
  • July 31, 2019 – Date premium payments for first and second quarter must be made to the ESD
  • September 30, 2019 – ESD will average the number of employees reported over the quarters (for which reporting exists) to determine employer size for calendar year 2020
  • December 20, 2019 – Approximate date rules take effect
  • January 1, 2020 - Employees may start taking leaves under the WA PFML

Tools to prepare you for WA PFML

Employer checklist highlights your steps and considerations for complying with WA PFML.

Answers to frequently asked questions. Topics are listed below. When you open our FAQs, you can link to the section that you need.

  • Section 1: General overview
  • Section 2: Benefit duration and amounts
  • Section 3: Eligible employees
  • Section 4: Covered employers
  • Section 5: Premiums, program funding, employer reporting
  • Section 6: Job restoration, health insurance continuation, and non-retaliation
  • Section 7 Notice requirements
  • Section 8: Claims for WA PFML benefits
  • Section 9: Voluntary plans
  • Section 10: Interaction of WA PFML with STD
  • Section 11: Interaction of WA PFML and other leave laws
  • Section 12: Grants available to small employers

Group insurance policies are underwritten by Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada (Wellesley Hills, MA) in all states, except New York. Product offerings may not be available in all states and may vary depending on state laws and regulations.

This checklist and suggested content are not to be considered legal advice. We recommend Clients speak with legal counsel specializing in labor and employment law to ensure your organization has met all of the requirements under the Washington Paid Family & Medical Leave (PFML) Act.

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