The Popular, Affordable Path for Paid Family and Medical Leave in Washington

For a PDF of the full report, click here.

Executive Summary

A just-released study funded by a U.S. Department of Labor grant to the State of Washington shows strong public support for a paid family and medical leave program – and new cost estimates that put such a program easily within reach of most workers and employers:

  • Three in four Washington voters support a state paid family and medical leave program, with strong support across party identification, gender, age, and income.
  • Strong majorities of voters favor a comprehensive program with shared premiums for employees and employers.
  • A paid family and medical leave program to care for a new child, seriously ill family member, or a worker’s own serious health condition would cost a typical worker less than a cup of coffee each week.
  • A paid family leave program would reduce the use of TANF (welfare) by new parents.

The study also included interviews with 30 employers and estimates of potential reductions in TANF (welfare) and SNAP (food stamps) usage by new mothers due to paid family leave.

California, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island have established programs  that provide wage replacement for 26 to 52 weeks for the worker’s own serious health condition, including pregnancy and childbirth-related disability, and from 4 to 12 additional weeks of paid family leave to care for a newborn or newly placed child or for a seriously ill family member. The programs are typically funded through payroll premiums.

A number of other states, including Washington, are considering establishing similar programs.

  • Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More To Read

A Fair Deal at Work

November 27, 2019

Families are Complicated and Paid Leave Can Help

Who could take care of a family member who slips on fried turkey?

A Fair Deal at Work

November 8, 2019

Washington Veterans Are Getting New Benefits

In 2020, veterans and their families will have special paid leave rights

A Fair Deal at Work

October 18, 2019

New Babies Mean New Benefits in 2020

Use Washington's new paid family and medical leave program to take care of children