Paid Family and Medical Leave
The Washington Work and Family Coalition brought together organizations representing seniors, women, labor, health professionals, children, faith communities, low income workers, and employers to update the state’s workplace standards to meet the needs of today’s families and businesses. The coalition worked for almost two decades, and in 2017, Washington State passed a paid family and medical leave law which allows up to 16 weeks of paid family and medical leave, or 18 if it includes a pregnancy complication. Benefits began in 2020, covering 3.3 million workers.
Paid Sick and Safe Days
WWFC coalition included representatives from public health groups, businesses, unions and community organizations to establish paid sick days in cities across the state. We were successful in Seattle in 2011, Tacoma in 2015, and Spokane in 2016. Then WWFC backed Initiative 1433, a broad community effort which was passed by voters in November 2016, enabling paid sick days for workers across the state with benefits beginning in 2018. Most workers in Washington now have the right to earn at least one hour of paid sick leave for every 40 hours they work. This leave can be used for illnesses, injuries, or medical appointments of workers or their family, as well as for legal or safety concerns related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
The WWFC-led Equal Pay and Opportunity Act went into effect on June 7, 2018, ending pay secrecy policies and requiring employers to provide job-related reasons for differences in pay and opportunity. The new rights granted under this act protect and support workers as they identify wage discrimination and advocate for their deserved pay and opportunity. It will help combat Washington’s wage gaps – among the worst in the nation – which perpetuate discrimination against women, people of color, and the LGBTQ community.