Reporting timeline changed for Washington state paid family and medical leave

By: Editorial Staff Posted: 03/27/2019

Payments and reports for first two quarters should now be submitted in July


Paid Family and Medical Leave reporting deadline moved to July 

Employers now have a new window for reporting and remitting their premiums for the first two quarters for Washington state's new Paid Family and Medical Leave: payments and reports for the first two quarters of 2019 should now be submitted between July 1 and July 31, instead of their original April due date.

Reporting timelines for Unemployment Insurance are not affected and the timeline for benefits delivery will not be affected by this timeline extension.

Click here to read more about the timeline extension.

About Washington statewide family and medical leave

The Seattle Metro Chamber was a vocal advocate of Washington statewide paid family and medical leave program, which passed in 2017. The program is a statewide insurance program, so workers and employers contribute premiums together through payroll withholding. The rate for 2019 is 0.4 percent of an employee's wage, about 63 percent of which is paid by the employee and about 37 percent paid by the employer.

Contributions began this year to build up a “bank” for benefits. 

Starting Jan. 1, 2020, employees will be able to use up to 12 weeks of paid leave to care for a new child, to care for an ailing family member, or to care for themselves in illness or after a medical event. Nearly every employee in Washington state who works at least roughly 16 hours per week qualifies for the program. To learn more about qualifications, visit this link.

What employers should know

Starting Jan. 1, 2020, all eligible employees in Washington must have access to paid family and medical leave benefits either through the state program or an employer-funded program, also known as a voluntary plan. Voluntary plans must meet or exceed the benefits of the state plan.

Almost every Washington employer must participate in this program, and almost every Washington employee will be eligible to receive benefits. This includes businesses of all sizes and non-profits, charities and faith organizations. If you are a public or private business with even one employee in Washington, you’ll very likely be a part of Paid Family and Medical Leave.

Employers with fewer than 50 employees are not required to pay the employer portion of premiums, but must remit employee premiums and report employee wages, hours and more to the Employment Security Department (ESD).

Exceptions are:

Employers have a responsibility to:

  • Report employee wages, hours worked and other information for all employees

  • Collect and remit premiums

For more information, the ESD has developed an Employer Toolkit with information on premiums and reporting requirements.