Employment Law Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law and HR

Nov 23, 2015

What is the law regarding pregnancy time off in Washington?

Q&ADisabilityLeave Laws 

Q: We recently found out that one of our employees is five months pregnant, and may need to be on bed rest for the remainder of her pregnancy. We’re a small company; are we legally required to give her the time off?

A: Yes, under Washington law if you have at least eight employees you must give your pregnant employee a leave of absence for the entire time she is sick or temporarily disabled due to pregnancy or childbirth. This law applies to all pregnant employees, regardless of their position, pay, number of hours worked, or length of employment with the company. If the employee’s health care provider certifies that she needs to take off a certain amount of time due to a pregnancy or childbirth-related disability, then you must allow her to be off work for the entire period. There is no “cap” or “maximum” amount of time she can be absent, and there is no exception to the law because of “undue hardship” on the company.

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