Premiums for new paid family program start next week in Washington

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Employers and employees in Washington state will start paying into a new paid family leave program next week, and benefits from the program will begin in 2020.

Starting Tuesday, premiums of 0.4 percent of wages will be collected, with 63 percent paid by employees and 37 percent paid by the employers.

Eligible workers will receive 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, or 16 weeks for a combination of both, starting in 2020. An additional two weeks may be used if there is a serious health condition with a pregnancy.

Weekly benefits will be calculated based on a percentage of the employee’s wages and the state’s weekly average wage — which is now $1,190 — though the weekly amount paid out would be capped at $1,000 a week.

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