Washington becomes 5th state to guarantee paid family leave

OLYMPIA, Wash.  — Gov. Jay Inslee has signed into law a measure that makes Washington the fifth state to guarantee paid family leave.

The measure signed Wednesday offers eligible workers 12 weeks paid time off for the birth or adoption of a child or for the serious medical condition of the worker or the worker’s family member beginning in 2020 — or 16 weeks for a combination of both. An additional two weeks may be used if there is a serious health condition with a pregnancy.

Washington joins four other states with paid family leave programs: California, New Jersey, Rhode Island and New York, though New York’s program doesn’t take effect until next year. The District of Columbia earlier this year also approved a paid family leave program that takes effect July 2020.