With the reporting deadline approaching on August, 31 and the final rule-making phase now in draft form, we have some updates to what employers need to know about Washington's new Paid Family & Medical Leave law.
There are six phases of rulemaking that the Employment Security Department has been working through to solidify the rules surrounding Paid Family & Medical Leave. We’ve written about the first four at length and now we have direction as to the results from final two phases, with proposed Phase 5 rules and drafted Phase 6 rules. Unfortunately, we still have not seen final, nor even drafted, rules regarding the coordination of PFML benefits with Short Term Disability insurance. We will provide another update once we know more. For now, we call out some of the main updates since our last blog.
The PFML program requires employers to report hours and wages to the state on a quarterly basis, beginning with 2019, Q1. The first deadline, April 30, was extended, and then extended again. The final deadline has been set as August 31 for both Q1 and Q2 data to be submitted. The ESD has created a very comprehensive employer reporting website that provides not only information about what to file, but videos on how to file.
Rulemaking - Phase 5 (Proposed rules)
Phase 5 outlines job protection, benefit overpayments, and “miscellaneous” items. The final proposed rules have been published, although there is still time for slight changes to be made. Below are a few items that will be of interest to employers.
Rulemaking - Phase 6 (Draft rules)
Phase 6 draft rules have been posted to the paid leave rulemaking site. Finalization of these rules is slated for 8/29/2019, when the comment period will begin (runs through 11/12/2019). Of note under the draft rules:
The Bottom Line
Washington State’s Paid Family & Medical Leave is still a work in progress, but we are seeing the light at the end of the rule-making tunnel. We will continue to provide updates as they are finalized by the state.
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I love numbers. I'm a math geek. I read benefits industry articles and periodicals for relaxation (but, honestly, I'm still a fun gal). I also like to share what I've learned and you'll find it all here.