Our mission: To provide an easily accessible benefit that helps employers and employees maintain economic stability and peace of mind in challenging times.

Our vision: Washingtonians are able to take the time to care for themselves and the people they love.

Starting in 2020, Washington will be the fifth state in the nation to offer paid family and medical leave benefits to workers. The program will be funded by premiums paid by both employees and many employers, and will be administered by the Employment Security Department (ESD). This insurance program will allow workers to take up to 12 weeks, as needed, when they welcome a new child into their family, are struck by a serious illness or injury, need to take care of an ill or ailing relative and for certain military connected events. If workers experience multiple events in a given year, they may be eligible to receive up to 16 weeks, or up to 18 weeks if the employee experiences a serious health condition with a pregnancy that results in incapacity.

As directed by the Legislature, premium assessment begins on Jan. 1, 2019 and benefits can be taken starting Jan. 1, 2020.

On this page: Upcoming Events |  Stay Informed  |  Program Factsheets  |  Newsroom 


Upcoming Events

All of our events are now listed on our new website at www.paidleave.wa.gov/events

Stay Informed

Program updates: Join the Paid Family & Medical Leave listserv for general updates.

Small business updates: Are you a small or medium sized business? Sign up for updates specific to businesses that employ fewer than 150 employees.

Voluntary plan updates: Are you considering offering paid family and medical leave coverage outside of the state plan? Sign up for voluntary plan updates.


July 16, 2018

National debate on paid family leave highlights Washington's best-in-the-nation program. "Whether you work part-time, in multiple jobs, for a small business or a large corporation, by 2020 almost anyone working in this state will be able to take necessary time off to care for themselves and their loved ones," said ESD Commissioner Suzi LeVine. Read more here.

July 6, 2018

Commissioner Suzi LeVine submitted written testimony to the U.S. Senate Finance Subcommittee on Social Security, Pensions and Family Policy regarding proposed federal paid family leave legislation. Read it here.

April 2, 2018

Critical information for Washington employers (This communication went out to every employer ESD had email addresses for as of March 2018)