Paid Family and Medical Leave: Time and Support for Families to Bond

Jennifer Donahue
WCAAP Communications Manager

As a pediatric health care provider, you know how important the early days, weeks and months are for parents to bond with their new baby. Secure attachment is essential for babies to get off to a strong start. Yet many families can’t afford to take the time off work they need. Now that time off is possible for many more parents, thanks to Washington’s Paid Family & Medical Leave program!

Almost all Washington workers are eligible for up to 12-weeks of Paid Family & Medical Leave to welcome a new child – and new moms may also be able to add medical leave for up to a total of 16 weeks off. Parents can receive up to 90 percent of their weekly pay – a maximum of $1,206 a week. This is a benefit earned by contributing a small amount from each paycheck. People who worked more than 820 hours (about 16 hours a week) during the past year, are eligible whether they worked part-time, have more than one job, or are undocumented. Also, they can take this time off at any time during their child’s first year, or first year in the home, for children who are adopted.

As WCAAP works to increase provider knowledge of Washington state’s Paid Family & Medical Leave program, we have created 1-page information sheets in English and Spanish for families that answer some common questions.  If you would like a supply of these info sheets printed for your clinic, please contact Jennifer Donahue. For more information about your role in Paid Family & Medical Leave as a health care provider visit this section of the PFML website.