Washington paid family medical leave update: Employees may bring claims directly  

June 18, 2020

Under SHB 2614, which went into effect on June 11, 2020, employees may now pursue a private right of action against employers for alleged violations of Washington’s Paid Family Medical Leave Act (WPFMLA). Under the WPFMLA, employers are prohibited from interfering with, discriminating against, or retaliating against employees exercising their rights under the Act. Alleged violations were previously enforced exclusively through the Employment Security Department (ESD), which administers the program. Under the new law, in addition to raising a claim through ESD, employees may also bring a claim in court, including class actions. The new law, which was agency request legislation and reviewed and approved by an advisory board for the program, makes several other changes to the WPFMLA. For a summary of those changes, see here.


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