With strong bipartisan support, the Legislature passed a bill on Friday that establishes the most forward-thinking paid family and medical leave law in the nation.
The governor secured a federal grant in 2015 to begin designing a paid family leave program. He has pointed out that the United States is the only industrialized nation that does not offer paid leave for workers.
“All too often, new parents and those with aging or sick loved ones face no-win decisions pitting the need for a paycheck against the need to be there for their family,” Inslee said. “Our nation should not be the outlier in helping families navigate these difficult situations.”
The new Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program will provide up to 16 weeks of leave for those wanting to take time off to care for a new infant or care for a family member. Depending on their earnings, employees will receive up to 90 percent of their wage or salary or up to $1,000 per week.
The program will be implemented by 2020.
Once the governor signs the bill, Washington will join California, New Jersey, Rhode Island and New York in making sure working families are ensured they have the ability to care for their families and loved ones without jeopardizing their economic security.