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    Frequently Asked Questions

    1) What is the difference between Paid Family Medical Leave and sick leave?
    Sick leave is used for 100% reimbursement when you are sick or need to care for a loved one and is governed by district collective bargaining agreements or policies. Paid Family Medical Leave is partial wage replacement, up to $1000 a week administered by the state of Washington.

    2) What is the difference between Paid Family Medical Leave and FMLA?
    FMLA protects your job and health benefit eligibility. Paid Family Medical Leave protects health benefits and provides partial wage replacement. Unless otherwise expressly permitted by the employer, leave taken under this chapter must be taken concurrently with any leave taken under (FMLA).

    3) What is the difference between this leave and the short-term disability I’m enrolled in?
    Paid Family Medical Leave works very much like a short-term disability policy but the amount paid may be different based on your income. Also, PFML covers time to care for a loved one whereas disability insurance typically only covers personal medical events.

    4) Can I claim both Paid Family Medical Leave the short-term disability simultaneously in the event of a medical incident requiring me to care take family/should I require medical leave?
    WA Employment Security owns this program and is currently in rulemaking on stacking benefits with PFML

    5) How does intermittent FMLA work with Paid Family and Medical Leave?
    WA State Employment security is still writing the rules on benefits, how they coordinate with FMLA including intermittent FMLA, and how they coordinate with Leave and disability policies.

    1. Do I need to file a claim now?
      The premium collection starts Jan 1, 2019 but the benefit portion does not start until Jan 1, 2020. Jan 1, 2020 is the first opportunity to file a claim.

    WA State Employment security is still writing the rules on benefits, how they coordinate with FMLA and how they coordinate with Leave and disability policies. Please visit the Paid Family Medical Leave website for the latest information and rules.

    6) Is PFML compulsory or optional? I already have a private disability insurance.
    Everyone working for Seattle Public Schools is required to have Paid Family Medical Leave deductions. Paid Family Medical Leave premiums are required for all employees who work or live in WA state including students, substitutes, part time and full-time workers are all required to contribute to the program.

    The only allowed exception to premium deduction is for Seattle Public Schools employees who are part of a Collective bargaining Agreement that was not reopened, renewed or expired prior to October 19, 2017. Employee s covered by the following CBA’s will not participate in premium deduction until these Collective Bargaining Agreements are reopened, renewed or expired then premiums will be deducted from affected employees.

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

    7) How much will be taken out of my paycheck every month?
    The premium amounts are set by state law. In 2019, the total premium is 0.4% of the employee’s wage. This premium is split between employer and employee. 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. The formula for calculation is below.

    1. Calculate Premium (Earned $2500 in Gross Wages)
      $10 = $2500 * .004

    2. Calculate Employer & Employee Portion
      Employer portion: $3.671= $10 * .3667
      Employee portion: $6.33 = $10 * .6333