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Open Town Hall
Open Town Hall


Welcome to the Washington State Employment Security Department’s Paid Family and Medical Leave Public Engagement Portal – an online forum for civic engagement. This platform gives you the opportunity to read what others are saying about proposed rules related to our state’s Paid Family and Medical Leave program, submit your feedback, and ask general questions about Paid Family and Medical Leave.

Visit the Employment Security Department's rulemaking page for more information on the department's process.

What is Paid Family and Medical Leave?

Starting in 2020, Washington will be the fifth state in the nation to provide paid family and medical leave benefits to workers and employers. The program will be funded by premiums paid by both employees and many employers, and ensure workers can take necessary time off when they welcome a new child into their family, are struck by extended illness or injury, need to take care of an ill or ailing relative or for certain military connected events. 


The Employment Security Department is developing rules to implement the Paid Family and Medical Leave program. This will be done in six distinct phases, with each phase covering a number of topics related to the new law. These phases are:

Phase One Phase Two Phase Three Phase Four
  • Voluntary plans
  • Collective bargaining
  • Premium liability
  • Employer responsibilities
  • Small business assistance
  • Penalties
  • Benefit Applications
  • Eligibility
  • Continuation of Benefits
  • Fraud
November, 2017 - May, 2018 April - November, 2018 August, 2018 - March, 2019 October, 2018 - June, 2019
Phase Five Phase Six
  • Job Protection
  • Benefit Overpayments                 
  • Miscellaneous
  • Appeals
  • Legislative changes (HB 1399)
January, 2019 - July, 2019 April, 2019 - November, 2019