Building an Economy that Works for Everyone

Paid Family and Medical Leave

At some point, almost everyone has to take time away from work, whether to care for a new child, help a family member who is sick, or to recover from their own illness. It’s the foundation of our economy – we wouldn’t have a workforce with no one to care for employees – and it’s a key component of leading a fulfilling life. EOI was the catalyzing organization behind Washington’s Paid Family and Medical Leave program, one of the most comprehensive in the nation. As of January 1, 2020, nearly all working Washingtonians can take the time they need to care for their health or that of a loved one without fear of missing a paycheck. EOI continues to work with community partners to ensure equitable access to Washington’s program and advises advocates across the country working toward similar policy.

Learn more about accessing and using Washington’s Paid Family and Medical Leave program here.


Terri’s Story, or, Cancer Doesn’t Care How Responsible You Are

Terri did everything right. She and her husband raised three great children – now mostly grown. She was a loyal employee for 14 years and prepared for the future, buying into the short term disability plan her company offered and investing in a 401(k). She even decided it was time to get healthy and lost 30 lbs.

When her cancer diagnosis came, she had family support, a financial cushion, and the legal protection of the FMLA. But none of that proved quite enough to last through two years of treatment and three surgeries. Despite her years of hard work and responsible actions, one bout of seriously bad luck has left Terri worried about her family’s future.

In September 2013, after speaking with some co-workers, Terri became suspicious of symptoms she’d been having. She visited the doctor and after two biopsies learned she had cancer in both breasts. In October, Terri had a lumpectomy and eventually a double mastectomy. In total, Terri has needed to take 3 separate medical leaves from work to deal with her cancer

“It was the worst experience of my life” said Terri.

Read more…

Research Feed

Paid Family and Medical Leave
Paid Family & Medical Leave in Washington Factsheet

We can improve health outcomes and economic vitality for all our communities

A Fair Deal at Work
Paid Leave in Washington Fact Sheet

Know the difference between paid sick days and paid family and medical leave

Blog Feed

Paid Family and Medical Leave

June 30, 2022

Winning Equitable Paid Family and Medical Leave for All Washington Families

Family isn't one-size-fits-all - work-family laws shouldn't be either

An Inclusive Economy

March 11, 2022

2022 Legislative Session Review

Washington legislators made good decisions but the measures passed will not reverse the 40-year trend of growing income inequality.

Paid Family and Medical Leave

January 28, 2022

With Strategic Investments and Improvements, Washington’s Paid Family and Medical Leave Program will Support Families for Generations to Come

PFML has improved the health and economic resilience of Washington families