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Paid Sick Leave vs. Paid Family & Medical Leave: What's the Difference?

Learn the difference between Washington's Paid Sick Leave and Paid Family and Medical Leave programs.

Paid ​Sick Leave

As part of the voter-approved Initiative 1433, paid sick leave went into effect for all employers in Washington on Jan. 1, 2018. Eligible employees accrue sick leave at 1 hour per every 40 hours worked. This new requirement is written within the Minimum Wage Act administered by L&I.

Paid ​Family and Medical Leave

Soon, starting in 2020, Washington will be the fifth state in the nation to offer paid family and medical leave benefits to workers. This is an insurance program to be funded by premiums paid by both employees and many employers,and will be administered by the Employment Security Department (ESD). As directed by the Legislature, premium payments begin on Jan. 1, 2019, and benefits can be taken starting Jan. 1, 2020.

What's the Difference?

Read the Department of Labor & Industries' Small Biz Newsletter for an explanation of how these two programs differ.

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