Search

Search form

Revised Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave Expands Who Are Covered Family Members

  • July 28, 2021

Beginning July 25, 2021, employees can use Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave (WPFML) to care for more people.

The law originally permitted employees to get paid leave to help address the serious health condition of any “family member.” That term was defined to include a:

  • “Child,” including biological, adopted, or foster child, a stepchild, or a child to whom the employee stands in loco parentis, is a legal guardian, or is a de facto parent, regardless of age or dependency status;
  • “Parent,” including biological, adoptive, de facto, or foster parent, stepparent, or legal guardian of an employee or the employee’s spouse or state registered domestic partner, or an individual who stood in loco parentis to an employee when the employee was a child;
  • Grandchild;
  • Grandparent;
  • Spouse, child’s spouse, or state registered domestic partner of an employee; and a
  • Sibling.

Under new law signed by Governor Jay Inslee, SB 5097, the term “family member” in WPFML has been expanded to include “any individual who regularly resides in the employee’s home or with whom the relationship creates an expectation that the employee care for the person, and that individual depends on the employee for care.” The term “family member” does not include a person who simply resides in the same home with no expectation that the employee care for the individual. 

This change is part of a growing trend in Washington and elsewhere embracing paid family and medical leave.

If you have questions or need assistance updating policies and procedures to comply with the new law, please reach out to the Jackson Lewis attorney with whom you regularly work.

©2021 Jackson Lewis P.C. This material is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice nor does it create a client-lawyer relationship between Jackson Lewis and any recipient. Recipients should consult with counsel before taking any actions based on the information contained within this material. This material may be considered attorney advertising in some jurisdictions. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Focused on labor and employment law since 1958, Jackson Lewis P.C.'s 950+ attorneys located in major cities nationwide consistently identify and respond to new ways workplace law intersects business. We help employers develop proactive strategies, strong policies and business-oriented solutions to cultivate high-functioning workforces that are engaged, stable and diverse, and share our clients' goals to emphasize inclusivity and respect for the contribution of every employee. For more information, visit https://www.jacksonlewis.com.