Working people throughout the United States struggle to meet their responsibilities both to their families and to their jobs. Some collective bargaining agreements and individual companies provide generous paid leave benefits. But many middle and lower income workers have little if any paid leave, and workers in smaller companies have no job protection if they must take time off to care for a new baby or a serious illness.
The lack of paid leave undermines family economic security, threatens the health and well-being of children and seniors, raises health care costs for everybody, and reduces the productivity of businesses.
To address these issues, Washington took the first steps toward establishing a state Family and Medical Leave Insurance program (FMLI) in 2007. The program now in state law provides:
- up to five weeks of paid leave to care for a newborn or newly adopted child;
- a benefit of $250 per week for full-time workers, prorated for part-timers;
- job protection for workers in companies with at least 25 employees.
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