Vigilant Blog

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Apr 03, 2020

WASHINGTON: ESD proposes new rules for PFML

COVID-19Employee BenefitsLeave Laws 

The Washington Employment Security Department (ESD) is asking for feedback by May 6, 2020, on proposed rules affecting the state’s Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program. These proposals have nothing to do with the current pandemic or federal emergency leave benefits and are mostly minor technical changes. However, they do include a long-awaited requirement for ESD to notify employers whether an employee’s application for PFML has been approved or denied.

The proposal also reintroduces ESD’s controversial rule on continuation of health benefits, which would require continuation of health benefits for an employee’s entire leave of absence on approved PFML if that leave overlaps even one day with leave under the federal Family and Medical leave Act (FMLA).

Tips: Comments on these rules may be submitted to ESD through May 6, 2020, by posting on the ESD rulemaking portal or by email to A prior ESD proposed rule on health benefits continuation last fall sparked so much pushback from the employer community that ESD removed it and reconsidered before drafting this proposal. If you have any concerns about how this proposed rule might impact your business, we encourage you to submit those concerns to ESD before the deadline. If you have questions about PFML, reach out to your Vigilant Law Group employment attorney. As always, we’ll continue to keep you informed of further developments.

This website presents general information in nontechnical language. This information is not legal advice. Before applying this information to a specific management decision, consult legal counsel.