Legislature reaches tentative deal on family leave benefits

Washington lawmakers reached a tentative deal Wednesday that could give all workers paid family leave benefits, The Everett Herald reports. 

State sources say House Bill 1116, which was first heard by the labor committee in January, is not a done deal. 

“We’ve reached agreement on a framework,” Rep. June Robinson, D-Everett, told The Everett Herald. “It will be the strongest policy in the country."

KING 5 obtained a list of main highlights of the bill:

  • Up to 12 weeks of paid leave to care for a new child or family member with documented and serious medical condition, as well as recover from own injury or illness. 
  • The program is funded by employee and employer contributions. Employee payroll deductions would account for 63 percent of program, with 100 percent for family leave. 
  • Benefits would be determined by a percentage of their wages compared to the average weekly wage in the state. For people earning less than state average wage, they would receive 90 percent of their income. Maximum benefit of $1,000/week.  
  • Statewide system would ensure portability as people move job positions. 
  • Benefits would begin in 2020. 
  • Businesses employing fewer than 50 people would not pay premiums, but workers would still pay into system and be able to receive all benefits. 

According to House Democrats, 72 percent of Washington voters supported paid family and medical leave in a poll earlier this year.  

© 2017 KING-TV


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