Building an Economy that Works for Everyone

Washington voters support Family and Medical Leave Insurance

A poll of Washington state voters found 73% support the family and medical leave insurance proposal now moving through the state legislature. Only 23% opposed. The poll was conducted February 12-14, 2007 of 600 voters in Washington state by Lake Research Partners.

Responses were to the question: “There is a proposal in the Washington State Legislature for a family leave insurance program that would entitle workers to up to 5 weeks of paid leave if needed to care for a new child or a seriously ill family member, or to recover from their own serious medical condition, with wage replacement at up to $250 per week for a full-time worker. The 5 weeks of paid leave would cover all workers including part-timers and those who work for companies with less than 50 employees. The cost of the insurance would be covered by asking workers to pay premiums in the form of a payroll tax of 3 cents per hour, or about a quarter per day. That is about $60 per year for a full time worker. Based on this description, would you support or oppose this proposal to provide Family Leave Insurance?”

Of employed voters, 62% said they or their spouse had needed to take family or medical leave in the previous 5 years, and 70% thought there was at least a 50/50 chance that they or their spouse would need family or medical leave in the next 5 years.

Strong majorities across demographic groups and regions of the state supported the proposal outlined in the fact sheet.

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