WA Legislature Passes Paid Family Leave Act, Gov. Inslee to Sign Wednesday
You probably didn't hear about this over all the noise from education funding, possible 'government' shutdown, and some tax proposals. But now WA will become the 5th state to enact Paid Family Leave.
According to sources, including the Spokesman Review Newspaper, many GOP members signed on to the much debated idea. Apparently they felt the debate had gone on long enough. It's been proposed for a number of years in the legislature. Democrats has been submitting such legislation off and on for 15 years.
The bill will create a paid family leave act that will allow the following:
- Both mother and father of a new born child can, for up to 12 weeks, receive up to 90% of their regular pay when they take family leave. It's capped at $1,000 a week.
- Businesses with fewer than 50 workers can legally opt-out of the idea.
- Once it's capped at 12 consecutive weeks, the worker can still utilize four more weeks in that same calendar year. They just can't do 16 in a row.
- Workers must give a 30-day notice they are going to do it, and small businesses do NOT have to hold their job open for them when they return.
While some GOP members sided with the idea, others felt it would add a financial burden to businesses, as they will be footing the bulk of the costs. Some Spokane-area legislators, including Senator Mike Padden (GOP), said cities and towns that border Idaho WILL lose jobs to that state, because they don't have such requirements.
Some GOP opponents slammed what they also called a job-killing plan, saying it was a big step towards socialist government. Gov. Inslee, who planned to sign the bill Wednesday, called it a 'great step.'
The plan will go into effect in 2019 with premiums and insurance plans, with benefits available by 2020. The plan can also be used by family member having to care for a seriously ill or terminal family member as well.