Question: We are under 50 employees and have an employee going out on pregnancy leave near the end of December. What is she entitled to with the new Washington PFML rules?
Answer: There are still many outstanding questions regarding how Paid Family and Medical Leave interacts with other leaves, but since you are under 50 employees, the employee is eligible for unpaid pregnancy disability leave (unless she has and uses any paid time off such as sick or vacation leave) for the time she is considered temporarily disabled due to pregnancy or childbirth. For a “normal” pregnancy and childbirth, this is typically 6-8 weeks after the birth of the child. Beginning January 1, 2020, the employee may apply directly to the state for paid benefits under the new program. That payment would be between her and the State. Since you are under 50 employees, the time she takes under pregnancy disability is protected and you must bring her back to work following the leave. Since you are under 50 employees, she is not eligible for job protection under the new Paid Family and Medical leave law.
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