Seattle Washington

Rule makers in Washington State are busy preparing for changes in 2021 to rules governing its Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) program that will be of interest to employers.

As part of the rulemaking process, Washington Employment Security Department (WAESD) publishes its rulemaking agenda twice yearly. This January, WAESD released its agenda here, which provides details and timelines around rulemaking, including its PFML program.

What’s on the PFML rulemaking agenda

The agenda includes topics surrounding:

  • Service of petitions and judicial notice via e-mail
  • Amendments or clarifications to definitions including employer, interested parties, waiting period, and claim year
  • Adding a definition of ‘placement,’ in relation to family leave for bonding
  • Documentation requirements in relation to family leave for bonding
  • Pro-rated benefit calculations
  • Eligibility as it relates to temporary physical assignments due to COVID-19

What employers and plan administrators should do now

  • Read and analyze the proposed rules to understand the impact to your program’s current administration as well as potential eligibility expansions to your work force. If you have feedback on the proposals, the WAESD would love to hear about it! Send your comments and inquiries to
  • Private plan administrators are encouraged to ensure alignment with any newly updated rules for compliance, and update any plan text regarding the same.

What ReedGroup is doing

ReedGroup continues to offer compliant paid family and medical leave solutions and will follow the proposed rulemaking to ensure adherence in our administration. PFML, always a complex topic, only got more complicated during 2020 due to a proliferation of new rulemaking around family leave. We’re planning a webinar focused solely on PFML to provide a broader look at this leave type; date is TBD, so sign up for our blog and webinar email alerts to stay in the loop.


Information provided on this blog is intended for general educational use. It is not intended to provide legal advice. ReedGroup does not provide legal services. Consult an attorney for legal advice on this or any other topic.