Family and Medical Leave

Family and Medical Leave

Here are important links to your rights under these laws about caring for family. Be sure to check your union contract too because there may be provisions that help beyond your rights under law.

Laws About Caring for Family

The Washington State Family Care Act (2002) will inform you about using paid leave to care for family members.

The Washington State Family Leave Act (2006) will inform you about additional leave for pregnant women and registered domestic partners.

Washington State Human Rights Commission rules on pregnancy or childbirth disability

If a woman works for a business with 8 or more workers, she is allowed pregnancy or childbirth disability leave and is entitled to return to work when released by her health care provider. The disability leave is based on her individual condition and may include all the time her health care provider determines she is unable to work. See WAC 162-30-020.

For questions about disability due to pregnancy or childbirth, see the Washington State Human Rights Commission or call 1-800-233-3247.

U.S. government (federal) law

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) permits workers who work for an employer with 50 or more employees and have worked at least 12 months for the business for a total of at least 1,250 hours to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for:

  • A newborn or newly adopted or foster child,
  • To recover from the employee’s own serious illness, or
  • To care for a child, spouse, or parent with a serious health condition.

For questions about the federal FMLA, call the U.S. Department of Labor at 1-866-487-9243 or see the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 fact sheet.