Perhaps it's lessons learned from the miserable experience suffered by both the Washington State Healthcare Exchange (Obamacare) as well as the nearly defunct Oregon exchange, but WA Department of Labor and Industries officials plan to test their new Family Leave Program before making it operational.

Janet Guthrie, Director of Communications for DLI, said Wednesday the original plan was to start collecting payments from businesses Jan 1, and begin the Family Leave Program in April. But they felt a beta testing period using a smaller number of businesses would be best, before the system rolls out July 1st.

The Family Leave Program was first approached in 2017 and finally created last year, it allows workers to claim up to 12 weeks of paid leave (regardless of occupation) to care for themselves or a family member suffering a significant or serious medical condition; allows for care of a newborn; as well as some additional considerations for military families. The plan was created to offer leave opportunities for workers in occupations that normally do not offer such plans. Many businesses to offer some sort of paid medical sick leave or other compensation for their workers already.

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