Skip to main content

Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave

In Force as of Jan. 1, 2020

Benefit Overview

Covered Leaves and Durations

Leave TypeCovered LeaveMaximum Leave Duration
  • Leave taken by a covered individual due to a serious health condition
12 weeks
  • Care for a family member with a serious health condition
  • Bond with a new child after birth, adoption or foster care placement
  • Family member notified of or called to active military service or caring for a family member who has returned from active duty
12 weeks
Medical and Family
  • Individual experiences medical and family events
16 weeks
  • Individual experiences medical and family events that include a pregnancy that results in incapacity
18 weeks

The maximum amount of combined family and medical leave that an individual may take is 18 weeks per benefit year.

State leave for domestic violence and military family leave are separate from the state's PFML program.

Weekly Benefit Amount

Employees can receive a maximum benefit of $1,427 per week in 2023.

Waiting Period

Employees will not be paid under PFML during the first week of approved leave (the waiting week). The waiting week is required by law for all types of leave except bonding leave and military family leave. 

Intermittent Leaves

Employees can take their leave on an intermittent basis or all at once.


All information on this page is subject to change as state requirements change.

Who's Covered

Covered Employees

CoveredNot CoveredOptional
  • Public and private employees
  • Unions
  • Employees who work at least 820 hours during the qualifying period (last four or five calendar quarters) before leave request
  • Federal employees
  • Tribes
  • Self-employed individuals if they agree to pay premiums for a minimum of three years
  • Independent contractors

Family Members

Covered employees may take family leave to care for:

  • Spouse or domestic partner
  • Child (biological, adopted, foster or stepchild)
  • Parent or legal guardian (or spouse's parent)
  • Sibling
  • Grandchild
  • Grandparent (or spouse's grandparent)
  • Child's spouse


All information on this page is subject to change as state requirements change.

How it Works

Plan Options

Employers can use the state PFML program or get state approval for a private plan.

Private Plans

  • Employers may file an application to participate in a voluntary plan for either family leave, medical leave or both.
  • Voluntary plans must provide benefits to the employees that are at least equal to the benefits of the state’s PFML program.

The Standard can help you meet the requirements for a private plan. Learn more about our leave management services.


The employer and employee pay a total contribution amounting to 0.80% of the employee’s earnings in 2023, capped at the Social Security wage base.

The PFML contribution rate is 0.80% of wages
Employee Pays72.76% 
Employer Pays127.24% 
  1. An employer may elect to pay all of the premiums. Employers with fewer than 50 eligible employees are exempt from paying the employer share of the premiums but must still collect and submit the employees' share of the premium.

Additional Information Employers Need to Know

Washington PFML runs concurrently with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.

All employers with one or more employees in the state of Washington, except the federal government and federally recognized tribes, must participate in the state PFML plan or have an approved voluntary plan.

Employers are required to:

  • Report employee wages, hours worked and other information for all employees
  • Collect and remit premiums
  • Post required posters and notices of the PFML program

WA PFML Reporting

Employers will provide quarterly reports, with reporting periods following calendar quarters:

Report DueReporting Quarter
April 30Q1: January, February, March
July 31Q2: April, May, June
Oct. 31Q3: July, August, September
Jan. 31Q4: October, November, December

Written Notice to Employees

Employers must give employees a copy of the Washington Employment Security Department’s Employee Rights form if the employee is absent for more than seven consecutive days for family or medical leave.

The statement must be provided to the employee within five business days after the seventh consecutive day of absence.

More Information

For more details, visit the Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave site.

If you'd like to see how we can help you comply with leave laws, check out our leave management services. We offer both absence management and benefits administration so you can focus your time where you need it most.


All information on this page is subject to change as state requirements change.

Legislative Activity
May 25, 2023

Washington Senate Bill 5286, signed by the Governor Jay Inslee on April 20, 2023, takes effect July 23, 2023. It is meant to address fund stabilization issues. Currently, premiums are 0.8% of gross wages, and although the law becomes effective on July 23, 2023, the rate will not change until January 1, 2024.

Shortly after September 30th of each year, the agency will calculate the new premium rate for the following calendar year. The employer/employee split will also be calculated at that time and will be included in the announcement from the state agency. The total premium rate will be calculated as follows:(i) calculate an amount that equals 140% of the prior fiscal year's expenses, including the total amount of benefits paid and the state administrative costs;(ii) subtract the balance of the family and medical leave insurance fund (account created in RCW 50A.05.070 for state plan administration) as of September 30th from the amount calculated that equals 140% of the prior fiscal year's expenses; and(iii) divide the difference by the prior fiscal year's taxable wages.

As a result of this new calculation, the solvency surcharge previously enacted and which could be added to the total premium rate in order to provide sufficient revenue for state fund administration has been removed. Instead, the Commissioner must set the total premium rate which must be: (i) adjusted If the Commissioner determines the total premium rate calculated under the new process exceeds a rate necessary to maintain a three-month reserve at the end of the following rate collection year, such that the total premium rate is at the minimum rate necessary to close the rate collection year with a three-month reserve; and(ii) the total premium rate must not exceed 1.20 percent.

October 27, 2022

The state’s Employment Security Department recently announced that the rate will increase from 0.6% to 0.8% to keep pace with the program’s usage. The rate increase was recommended to address Washington’s Paid Family Leave Program Deficit.

Calculate PFML Benefits

Use this calculator with your employees to help them get a quick estimate of their PFML benefit amounts.

Jump back to top