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Other Leaves: Washington

Other Leaves requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Author: Ina R. Silvergleid


  • Washington has several types of leave requirements, such as family leave, family military leave, crime victim leave and emergency responder leave. See Leaves of Absence - Washington.
  • Washington's Family Leave Act (FLA) is similar to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) but does have a few important differences. See Family and Medical Leave.
  • All employers, regardless of the number of employees, must allow an employee to use his or her accrued sick or paid time off (under any collective bargaining agreement or employer policy) to care for the employee's child who has a health condition that requires treatment or supervision or to care for a spouse (including same-sex spouses and registered domestic partners), parent, parent-in-law or grandparent with a serious health condition or emergency condition. See Family Care Leave.
  • Under the Washington Law Against Discrimination, an employer with eight or more employees may be required to provide an employee with an unpaid leave of absence as a reasonable accommodation of an employee's medical condition. See Washington Law Against Discrimination.
  • All employers must provide the same leave for employees who are adoptive parents or stepparents at time of birth or placement of a child (under the age of six) as is provided to employees that are biological parents. See Parental Leave.
  • An employer does not have to provide a leave of absence for a workers' compensation injury or illness. See Workers' Compensation Leave.
  • Victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking may take a reasonable leave from work - paid or unpaid - to take care of legal or law enforcement needs and obtain health care. Family members of a victim may also take reasonable leave to help the victim obtain treatment or seek help. See Domestic Violence Leave.
  • Employers with 20 or more full-time equivalent employees cannot terminate or discipline an employee who is a volunteer firefighter or reserve officer for taking leave to respond to a fire alarm or emergency call. See Emergency Responder Leave.
  • Certain Seattle, SeaTac and Tacoma employers are required to provide eligible employees with paid sick and safe leave. See Local Ordinances.
  • Washington's legislature passed a Family Leave Insurance Program designed to provide temporary income support to parents on leave to care for a newborn baby or child recently placed for adoption. The program's start date has been repeatedly delayed and will not be implemented until the legislature is able to appropriate funds and enact an implementation date for benefits. See Future Developments.