Phase One rules post-adoption notice

On June 29, 2018, new rules related to the Paid Family and Medical Leave program took effect. The rules provide guidance on:

  1. Premium assessment and collection for businesses;
  2. The election of program coverage for certain populations;
  3. The establishment and operation of voluntary plans;
  4. When a conditional premium waiver can be granted;
  5. How the program interacts with collective bargaining agreements; and
  6. Other topics to implement the program.


Because of these rules, employers will be able to remit premiums to the department online. The department will notify employers of premiums due once the employer’s report has been completed and submitted to the department. Prior to receiving a bill for premium payments, employers may use the premium calculator provided online to estimate the amount the premiums they can deduct from employee’s wages. The Paid Family and Medical Leave team held webinars, posted information on social media, and sent emails and mailers to notify employers of the responsibility to submit employee and employer premiums. In October, an employer toolkit will be available online. Paid advertising directed at employers is also expected to begin in October. 

While currently under development, it is expected that self-employed individuals and federally recognized tribes who elect to participate in Paid Family and Medical Leave will be able to notify the department online and be assessed premiums for coverage. This process is still in the early stages of creation.

Employers who elect to administer paid family and medical leave benefits through a voluntary plan may apply online. A voluntary plan guide has been posted on the website to provide the most current information regarding voluntary plan requirements before applying. Employers who have an approved plan for paid family leave, paid medical leave, or both, will be considered effective the quarter following the approval and will not be requested to remit premiums for the programs that have been approved for in the following quarter. 

We expect that employers will be able to apply for the conditional premium waiver for out-of-state employees electronically. This process is still in development.

Employers will have the opportunity to inform the department of employees that are a party to a collective bargaining agreement. 

If you have questions about implementing these rules or need more information, please email paidleave@esd.wa.gov.

Any person may petition the agency to initiate a change in rule. Petitions can be found on the Office of Financial Management’s website. Completed forms can be submitted electronically to Rules@esd.wa.gov. 

This communication constitutes the post-adoption notice required by RCW 34.05.362.