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    Paid Family and Medical Leave

    On January 1, 2019, a new Washington State Law for Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) will take effect. PFML is a new state-administered insurance program that provides partial wage replacement, up to $1000 per week starting in 2020, for wage loss due to absence on account of personal medical conditions or for care of a family member as defined in the plan, generally for up to 12 weeks per year. This program is administered by the WA Employment Security Department.

    This law impacts most employees who work or live in Washington State.

    The program is being introduced in two stages. Starting January 1, 2019, employers will be required to pay certain premiums, and employee premiums will be deducted from your wages. Then, starting January 1, 2020, employees may submit an application for the PFML benefits for covered wage losses.

    Premiums:

    The program is funded by premiums paid by both employees and employers with the first employee premium deducted on your February 1, 2019 pay warrant. Premium deductions will be printed on your monthly pay warrants. District premiums will be paid directly starting with wages paid February 1, 2019 and later.

    The premium amounts are set by state law. In 2019, the total premium is 0.4% of the employee’s wage. This premium is paid using the following percentage:

    • Employer portion: .3667
    • Employee portion: .6333

    As a guide, if your monthly gross wages are $2,500, your monthly contribution will be $6.33, and the district will contribute $3.67. For more information on premiums please visit the PFML premium page.

    Seattle Public Schools employees who are covered by the following Collective Bargaining Agreements will not have premiums deducted on February 1, 2019. Deduction for the below groups will not start until the contracts are reopened, renewed or expired per state law.

    • Principals' Association of Seattle Schools
    • Seattle King County Building and Construction Trades Council
    • Local 289 - Auto Machinists
    • Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters

    An example of the pay statement showing the deductions are highlighted below.

    screenshot of pay stub

    Benefits:

    Beginning January 1, 2020, Washington residents will be eligible to apply for benefits. More information on benefits and eligibility.

    Resources:

    Washington is one of 5 states in the nation to offer Paid Family and Medical Leave. The Washington State Legislature approved Senate Bill 5975 during the 2017 legislative session and the new law went into effect on October 19, 2017.