Paid Family and Medical Leave

Passed in 2017 after an almost 20-year fight led by EOI and allies, Washington’s Paid Family and Medical Leave program offers much needed protections to workers needing time off to care for themselves or their families. Since its passage, EOI has worked with the staff of the new Paid Family and Medical Leave office to develop the program which will go into effect on January 1, 2020.

Workers will soon be able to take up to 12 weeks paid leave to care for a newborn or newly placed adopted or foster child, a serious health condition, a family member’s serious health condition, or a family member’s military deployment – with up to 18 weeks available in a year, depending on circumstances.

Taking time off to care for oneself or one’s loved ones without fearing a loss of wages or employment shouldn’t be a privilege. Soon, in Washington, it won’t be.

FEATURED PROFILE

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
Responses of African-American Women to Washington’s Paid Family & Medical Leave Program

Equity Goals of Program and Potential Barriers to Equitable Access

A Fair Deal at Work
Details Matter

Paid Family and Medical Leave that Works for Working Families

Blog Feed

A Fair Deal at Work

January 16, 2020

We Need to Extend Postpartum Healthcare Access

Losing your health insurance is not just a terrible inconvenience; it’s a matter of life and death.

Paid Family and Medical Leave

January 2, 2020

Paid Family and Medical Leave is Here!

People whose leaves have already begun can receive benefits retroactively

Paid Family and Medical Leave

December 30, 2019

Fewer dogs won’t bring happiness, but this might

My new year's resolution to focus on the good things like paid leave