Updates to the Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave Program

Jai HookerLegislative Updates

Updates to the Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave Program

Jonathan M. Minear & Michael A. Griffin

Jackson Lewis P.C.

The Washington Employment Security Department has announced the Paid Family and Medical Leave 2024 premium rates and weekly benefit maximums.

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2024, the Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave Program’s total premium rate will decrease from 0.8% to 0.74%. This rate is recalculated annually in October, based on contributions from premiums and benefits paid during the previous year.

Employers must report each Washington employee’s total gross wages, not including tips. Premiums must be collected up to the Social Security cap, which will increase to $168,600 in 2024, to the Washington Employment Security Department. Once an employee meets the Social Security cap, employers must stop collecting premiums, but they must continue to report employee wages.

Employers with 50 or more people employed will pay at least 28.57% of the total premium, which would require their employees to pay 71.43% of the total premium. Employers with fewer than 50 employees are not required to pay the employer portion of the total premium but must collect the employee portion of the premium or pay it on their behalf. Employers with approved “voluntary plans” under this law should consult with employment counsel about possible modifications to the “voluntary plans.”

Additionally, the maximum weekly benefit will be capped at $1,456.00 per week in 2024.

Employers should notify employees that they will begin collecting the new rate on Jan. 1, 2024. An updated employer toolkit, mandatory poster, and paycheck insert are available in the state’s Paid Leave Help Center.

***This article originally appeared on the Jackson Lewis’ Disability, Leave & Health Management blog and was reposted on the DMEC website with their permission.***