In January 2019, Washington State became the 5th in the nation to offer paid family and medical leave benefits to employees. The program is administered by the Employment Security Department with the premiums being paid by both the employees and employers. A few things employers should take note of:
- Beginning Jan. 1, 2019, the initial premium rate is .04% of the employee’s wages. The Employment Security Department can adjust this rate annually after 2020.
- 1/3 of the premium is used to pay for the Family Leave portion (100% employee paid)
- 2/3 of the premium is used to pay for Medical Leave portion (45% employee paid and 55% employer paid)
- Beginning Jan. 1, 2019, employers are required to withhold from the employee’s payroll using the following formula:
- Gross wages x .004 = Total Premium X .6333 = Employee payroll deduction
- Employers with more than 50 employees will pay the remaining 0.3667
- Total premium – Employee payroll deduction = Employer paid premium
- Employers with fewer than 50 employees are not required to pay the employer portion but are still required to withhold and pay the employee portion.
- Employers can elect to pay 100% of the premium