Emergency notice: We're ready to assist Clients who have been affected by the recent weather and fire events. Read the notice
Updated November 2021
Sun Life is eager to meet your Washington PFML needs for Self-Insured voluntary plan administration. We are quoting for January 1, 2022 effective dates. Sun Life's WA PFML plan integrates with Short-Term Disability, featuring one claims number for your employees’ medical event, one case manager, one claim submission, and integrated reporting for employers.
Please speak to your Sun Life Sales Representative for more information.
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 accessed 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.
Voluntary plan administration
Maximum benefit amounts
View our complete list of answers to frequently asked questions.
Yes. Sun Life is eager to meet your Washington PFML needs for voluntary plan administration (administrative services only). We are quoting for January 1, 2022 effective dates. Please speak to your Sun Life Sales Representative for more information. Here is information about transferring from the state plan to a voluntary plan. You may also access the state’s Voluntary Plan Guide.
All employers with one or more employees, excluding:
Union members who have collective bargaining agreements that haven’t been reopened or renegotiated, or have expired since October 19, 2017, may not be eligible for Paid Family and Medical Leave.
Visit www.paidleave.wa.gov for information.
Update: According to paidleave.wa.gov, if an employee was denied for not having worked the required 820 hours due to COVID-19, and would have used Paid Leave Jan. 3, 2021 or later, they can request a review of this decision starting August 1, 2021.
In a voluntary plan, a covered employee is eligible when they have been in employment for at least eight hundred twenty hours during the qualifying period and in employment with that employer for at least three hundred forty hours; or was covered by an approved voluntary plan through their most recent previous employer in the employee's qualifying period.
Employees working for an employer with a voluntary plan who have not yet met eligibility requirements for that plan are eligible for benefits under the state plan so long as all other requirements are met.
The benefit amounts for WA PFML are as follows:
Yes, there is a waiting period required by law for all types of leave except bonding leave and military exigency. The eligible employee must take leave for a minimum duration of eight consecutive hours per “claim week.” The “claim week” is the first seven consecutive calendar days beginning with the Sunday of the first week an eligible employee starts taking paid family or medical leave.
An employee will not receive a benefit payment for hours claimed during the waiting period. After the initial eight consecutive hours in the “claim week” are met, the employee can take intermittent leave in minimum increments of one hour. The intermittent time will be rounded down to the next lower hour.
Employees are only required to fulfill one waiting period per claim year. The waiting period is counted towards the applicable maximum duration. For example, an employee who uses eight consecutive hours of leave in a claim week would have their full leave allotment (12, 16 or 18 weeks) minus eight hours available.
The employee can collect Paid Time Off during the waiting period.
Medical leave is any leave from work made necessary by the employee’s own serious health condition*.
Family leave is available:
*The definition of serious health condition aligns with that used under the federal FMLA. Namely, a serious health condition is an illness, injury, impairment or physical or mental condition involving inpatient care or continuing treatment.
You may use family leave to care for:
An employee is eligible to be restored to the employee’s previous or an equivalent job position with equivalent pay, benefits and other terms and conditions of employment if the employee:
There are limited exceptions for job protection including a key employee provision and instances where the employer is able to show that an employee would not otherwise have been employed at the time of reinstatement. The employer must send written notices, to be delivered to the employee in person or by certified mail, if they intend to deny job restoration and employers must continue health benefits even when denying job protection
Visit www.paidleave.wa.gov for more information.
WA PFML premiums may be shared between employer and employee. Premiums for 2022 are 0.6% of gross wages paid up to the Social Security maximum. Employers may withhold approximately 73.22% of the premium for employee wages.
Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees are not required to pay the employer portion of the premium, but they still collect and submit the employees’ share of the premium, and their employees are fully eligible for the benefit.
An employer that elects to pay all or a portion of its employees’ premiums must give written notice at least one pay period before change in its elected payment.
Yes. Employers may seek approval to meet their obligations of the WA PFML law through a voluntary plan. Please ask your Sun Life Sales Representative for information about Sun Life’s WA PFML voluntary plan.* Here is information about transferring from the state plan to a voluntary plan. You may also access the state’s Voluntary Plan Guide.
*In some states, “voluntary plan” is referred to as “private plan.”
Basic requirements of a voluntary plan include the following:
Yes. While the WA PFML law creates certain paid benefits for leave because of an employee’s own health condition or for covered caregiving reasons, the WA PFML law is not intended to replace benefits provided by employers through Short Term Disability (STD) plans and programs. It is important to know that cancelling STD benefits could leave your employees unprotected if they become disabled for these reasons:
Sun Life is committed to assisting you in complying with the requirements of the new WA PFML law and with providing valuable employee benefits to your employees. We also offer leave and accommodations administration services. Please reach out to us and we will evaluate your benefit plans and compliance needs from a holistic perspective and provide guidance and services to meet your and your employees’ needs.
Sun Life’s self-funded or administrative-services-only WA PFML solution will be administered by Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada (Wellesley Hills, MA). This service is not insurance.
SLPC 30705 12/21 (exp. 12/22)