The full article was originally featured as an employment advisory on on August 1, 2019. Our editors have chosen to feature this article here for its coinciding subject matter.

In April 2019, Governor Inslee amended the Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave Program (PFML) to provide clarity on (1) an employee’s ability to top off the PFML benefits with employer-provided PTO, vacation, and sick leave; (2) the waiting period; and (3) voluntary plan eligibility and notice. Subsequently, on July 10, 2019, the Employment Security Department (ESD) released the second draft of Phase Six Rules relating to the 2019 amendments.

Despite the new information, many questions remain for employers on how PFML will interplay with both existing employer benefits and other leave laws. For family businesses, the questions can be even more perplexing. Businesses with 50 or fewer employees are not required to pay premiums to fund the program; however, they may opt to do so and receive small business assistance funds. Small businesses are required to report hours and wages to the state and for remitting all premiums collected to the state.

With PFML going into effect in 2020, now is a good time to make sure you understand how the new leave laws are going to affect your business. DWT employment attorneys continue to monitor this still changing rulemaking process. In addition, a complimentary webinar regarding updates to the PFML is scheduled for September 18, 2019. Register here.