Washington State Expands Paid Family & Medical Leave

Effective April 21, 2021, Washington state expanded the eligibility requirements for their Paid Family and Medical Leave program for those employees that are and were adversely impacted by COVID-19. HB 1073 expands coverage to now include workers that have worked either 820 hours in employment during the first through fourth calendar quarters of 2019 or worked 820 hours in employment during the second through fourth calendar quarters of 2019 and first calendar quarter of 2020.

In addition to reducing the eligibility hours, HB 1073 expands the definition of “family” to now include a child, grandchild, grandparent, parent, sibling, or spouse. The inclusion of grandchild or grandparent goes beyond federal family and medical leave coverage requirements.

HB 1073 creates an employer grant for businesses with under 150 employees to hire a temporary worker as the result of an employee utilizing their leave. The insurance program will be funded by a one-time general fund appropriation paid for by federal stimulus dollars, which has been budgeted for $200 million.

Provisions provided under HB 1073 will sunset on June 30, 2023.

For more information about policy issues RILA is tracking at the state and local level, please contact Patrick Brady.

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