Under Washington’s new Paid Family Medical Leave (PFML) law, eligible employees are entitled to paid leave for their own serious health condition or for certain family care or military exigency reasons.

If an employer becomes aware that an employee is taking time off for more than seven consecutive days of work to care for a family member or their own serious health condition, the employer must give the employee a PFML Statement of Rights and notice of eligibility form provided by the state. In addition, employees must also provide employers with notice of foreseeable PFML leave.

Employer Requirements

The employer must provide notice to the employee within:

  • Five business days after the employee’s seventh consecutive day of absence due to family or medical leave; or
  • Five business days after the employer has received notice that the employee’s absence is due to family or medical leave, whichever is later.

Employers must use the notice provided by the state (available here).

Employee Requirements

Employees are not required to apply for PFML benefits. When an employee chooses to take leave under PFML, they must apply directly to the state for PFML benefits. The employee must give the employer 30 days' notice for foreseeable leaves, and must give notice as soon as possible for unforeseeable leaves.

  • If an employee fails to give the required notice, their PFML benefits may be delayed (although an employer may choose to waive the notice requirements).

Please see our other advisories on PFML here and stay tuned for our future PFML updates.