Washington State Maternity Leave Laws 2023

Washington state has introduced what may just be the most generous maternity leave laws in the entirety of the United States. The new laws come into effect from January 2020, making Washington the fifth state in the country to offer paid family and children related leave to its employees on a mandatory basis.

Washington State Maternity Leave

How Many Weeks Have Been Extended In Washington Maternity Leave 2022?

The new laws offer as much as up to 12 weeks of guaranteed paid maternity leave for new mothers who are taking up the responsibility of a child either by obtaining it through birth or by adoption.

In the case that the mother has gone through a complicated pregnancy and needs more time to recover, the employee can take two more weeks off as paid leave as well. All in all, employees are guaranteed at least three months of paid, job secure leave.

How Many Weeks Will Be Paid in Washington Maternity Leave 2022?

Up to 12 weeks of maternity leave will be paid, as well as the two more weeks were taken in the case of a complicated pregnancy. If the baby born or adopted also has a medical condition or a disease and the mother needs to be present to take care of the child and nurture it, she can take an additional four weeks off for which she will also be paid. In total, an employee can take up to 16 weeks of paid maternity leave in different circumstances.

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If the income of the employee is extremely low or less than the weekly state average wage, they may even collect up to 90 per cent of their weekly wages during the period of leave. The higher you earn as compared to the average state weekly wage, the lower percentage of earnings you will receive during your paid leave.

Are Some Companies Exempt From Washington Maternity Leave 2022?

In order to be eligible to apply for the maternity leave, the employee has to have worked at least 820 hours at the company that employs over 50 employees in the past 12 months or four quarters. However, some employers may choose to give their employees these benefits despite the latter not having worked for 820 hours.

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For companies that employ less than 50 employees an come under the small category, they will offer you paid leave but you do not get to have any job security- meaning your job can be given to someone else if the employer wishes to during your leave. Hence, make sure that you talk the issue over with your employer before you take the leave.

Does Washington Maternity Leave 2022 Cover Anything Besides Welcoming The Baby?

While the leave is for when you give birth and immediately after it to cope with the repercussions of giving birth and to bond with and care for the child, there are certain situations in which you can begin your leave even before you deliver.

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This is applicable in the case when you have a serious health condition that is limiting your ability to work and is causing harm to your condition. Your employer is required to give you leave under the law of the state of Washington if you have any pregnancy related disabilities or illnesses.


Lora Turner

Lora Turner is an Experienced HR professional worked with the large organizations and holding 15 years of experience dealing with employee benefits. She holds expertise in simplifying the leave for the employee benefits. Contact us at: [email protected]

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