By Payroll and Entitlements Editorial Staff
Premium collection for Washington’s new paid family and medical leave program began January 1, 2019. Passed with bipartisan support in the state legislature in 2017, the program will provide every eligible employee in Washington paid time to care for themselves or a loved one through serious illness or injury, to bond with a child coming into the family, and for certain military related events. Eligible individuals may file benefit claims starting January 1, 2020.
Virtually all employers in Washington must participate, including small, medium, and large businesses, nonprofits, charities, and faith organizations. The premium rate for 2019 is 0.4 percent of an employee’s gross wages.
The premium can be shared by the employer (about 37%) and employee (about 63%). Businesses that average under 50 employees are not required to pay the employer portion of the premium, but are still required to collect the employee’s portion or elect to pay that portion on the employee’s behalf.
Starting January 1, 2019 employers must:
- begin withholding paid family and medical leave premiums from employee paychecks, or plan to cover part or all of the employee’s share; and
- begin preparations for quarterly reporting, including tracking hours and wages of all employees, including seasonal, temporary, and part-time workers. (Washington State Employment Security Department; Washington State Employment Security Department, Paid Family and Medical Leave one-stop resource.)
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