September 24, 2021

Volume XI, Number 267

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Revised Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave Expands Who Are Covered Family Members

Beginning July 25, 2021, employees can use Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave (WPFML) to care for more people.

The law originally permitted employees to get paid leave to help address the serious health condition of any “family member.” That term was defined to include a:

  • “Child,” including biological, adopted, or foster child, a stepchild, or a child to whom the employee stands in loco parentis, is a legal guardian or is a de facto parent, regardless of age or dependency status;

  • “Parent,” including biological, adoptive, de facto, or foster parent, stepparent, or legal guardian of an employee or the employee’s spouse or state-registered domestic partner or an individual who stood in loco parentis to an employee when the employee was a child;

Grandchild;

Grandparent;

Spouse, child’s spouse, or state-registered domestic partner of an employee; and a

Sibling.

Under new law signed by Governor Jay Inslee, SB 5097, the term “family member” in WPFML has been expanded to include “any individual who regularly resides in the employee’s home or with whom the relationship creates an expectation that the employee care for the person, and that individual depends on the employee for care.” The term “family member” does not include a person who simply resides in the same home with no expectation that the employee care for the individual. 

This change is part of a growing trend in Washington and elsewhere embracing paid family and medical leave.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2021National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 209
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About this Author

Sherry Talton Employment Attorney Seattle
Of Counsel

Sherry L. Talton is Of Counsel in the Seattle, Washington, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She advises and represents employers in every stage of disputes, from risk management to trial and appeal.

Ms. Talton has a broad base of litigation, trial, and appellate experience in numerous state and federal courts across the nation. She has assisted employers to protect their trade secrets, combat wrongful competition, comply with wage and hour laws, enforce arbitration agreements and other employment contract provisions, and implement best recruiting, hiring, and...

206-626-6409
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