Agency Update: The Washington Employment Security Department has announced that the reporting requirement deadline has been extended from April 30, 2019 to July 1, 2019.  Beginning, July 1st, employers will submit both Q1 and Q2 reports and premium payments through Secure Access Washington (SAW).

This will not affect the availability of benefits.  Eligible employees will still be able to apply for benefits on January 1, 2019.

For more information on filing, please click here.

Beginning January 1, 2019, the State of Washington will start requiring employers and employees to pay premiums for paid family and medical leave. Starting January 1, 2020, employees will be able to apply for Paid Family and Medical Leave benefits.

The benefits will generally allow up to 12 weeks of paid leave per year for the employee’s own health condition or to care for a member of their family. This is a statewide insurance program, so employees and employers will contribute premiums together through payroll withholding.

Employee Requirements: Employees must work 820 hours or more in the qualifying period to be eligible for leave. The qualifying period is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters starting from the day the employee intends to take leave. Employees will pay for this program through mandatory payroll deductions. On January 1, 2019, 0.4% of the employee’s gross pay will be the premium for each pay period.

The employee must provide notification of their intention to take leave. If an event is foreseeable, the employee must provide 30 days’ notice. If the event is unforeseeable, the employee must provide notice as is practicable.

Leave Qualifiers: This benefit cannot be taken without a qualifying event. Leave events can be either Family or Medical, for example:

Family Leave

• Care and bond after a baby’s birth or the placement of a child younger than 18

• Care for a family member experiencing an illness or medical event

• Certain military-connected events