Paid family medical leave premiums now deducted from WA State paychecks but will they cover the cost of the program?

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by DCG

A new law has gone into effect in Washington State where employees have monies deducted from their paychecks to pay for paid family medical leave. Employers also kick in some money into the insurance program. The state is collecting monies a year in advance; benefits won’t be available until 2020.

About the program details, from

“Those benefits are partial wage reimbursement for at least 12 weeks when you have a qualifying family or medical event, 16 weeks if you have events qualifying for both family and medical, and up to 18 weeks under certain special circumstances, such as pregnancy complications.

The cost: 0.4 percent of paychecks split roughly 63/37 percent between employee and employer, respectively. A worker earning $50,000 annually would see about $2.42 cents a week taken out of their check, and then when benefits kick in next year, they would be eligible for partial wage reimbursement of up to $1000 a week depending on your earnings.

Read about all the insurance program details here.

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The law firm of Davis Wrights Tremaine has been working with businesses to help them get ready for the new law. According a lawyer from that firm:

“But with the program just rolling out funding and rule making still fluid there are some unknowns and concerns. Is this program adequately funded? Is there going to be enough in the pot to account for individuals taking leave? What will be the usage rate of this? And that’s a real unknown right now.

What’s more, is that premiums could actually go up.

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There is some language in the law that, there can be an increase in the premium amount. We could see an increase to 0.6 percent gross, and it’s unclear after that point, if it’s still underfunded, what’s going to happen. Are we going to see those premiums increase? And I think it’s probably likely that will we see an increase in the premium amount.

Shocker, not.




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