News & Resources

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Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave Contributions Begin

BY: APA Staff | 01/10/19

The Washington Employment Security Department (ESD) is reminding employers that premium collection for the paid family and medical leave program began January 1, 2019. Effective January 1, 2020, eligible employees will be entitled to paid leave to care for a new child or sick family member.

Payroll Deductions

Employers and employees both make contributions to the paid family and medical leave insurance program through payroll deductions. Starting January 1, 2019, the total premium is 0.4% of an employee’s wages up to the social security wage base ($132,900 in 2019). Employers may split the cost of the program with employees by withholding up to 63% of the premium from employees’ paychecks. An employer may elect to pay all or some of the employees’ share of the premiums.

Premium Calculation

If an employer is using the state plan for both family and medical leave and opts not to cover any of the employee's share of the premium, the employer will pay about 37% of the employee's total premium, and the employee will pay about 63%. An employer can estimate its premiums using the premium calculator.

Reporting

Employers are required to report employee information to the ESD quarterly, with the first report due April 30, 2019.

Small Employers

Employers with fewer than 50 employees working in Washington are not required to pay the employer portion of the premium. Small employers are still required to report employee wages, hours worked, and additional information to the ESD on a quarterly basis.

Interested in more state and local payroll coverage? APA’s PayState Update eNewsletter is perfect for you.