The COVID-19 pandemic created a significant demand for medical and family leave by workers throughout Washington state. This created opportunities for the Washington State Legislature to enact legislation that modifies and expands access to the state’s Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program. Key legislative changes include:
- Employees will soon be able to use the PFML program to provide care for an expanded list of individuals under the amended “family member” definition that takes effect July 25, 2021.
- Employees otherwise ineligible for the state PFML program may qualify for a Pandemic Leave Assistance Employee Grant to care for themselves or a family member. The grant program opens August 1, 2021, and the Employment Security Department is currently finalizing the application process.
Hospitals should review WSHA’s bulletin for more information about the upcoming PFML program changes. Hospitals should also communicate the changes to their employees and adjust any internal policies accordingly. (David Streeter, DavidS@wsha.org)