Please See Below For Session Recording and Materials
Moderator: Renee Sunde, President/CEO Washington Retail Panelists: Mark Johnson, Sr. VP of Policy and Government Affairs for Washington Retail, Bruce Beckett, Principal of The Beckett Group, Rose Gundersen, VP of Operations and Retails Services for Washington Retail, Cindy Schmertzler, Director Integrated Leave for Costco The path to Paid Family and Medical Leave in Washington State was not an easy one. Governor Inslee precipitated work on the issue with receipt of grant funding in 2015 to conduct public opinion research and seek input from different sectors of business. During the same period, numerous state and local initiatives were adopted related to minimum wage and paid sick leave that demonstrated widespread voter support for enhanced benefits for working families. After years of study and deliberation between employers, public and private sector stakeholders, business and labor came together in a legislatively sanctioned process to develop Washington’s PFML program. The program is one of the strongest in the nation went into full effect in January 2020. Washington is among four other states – California, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and New York – and the District of Columbia that provide paid family leave for employees to take care of sick or disabled family members or a new child and many other states are looking to follow the same path. Washington’s policy has more weeks of leave than some other states and it is portable between jobs, allowing employees with multiple jobs, to count all hours worked toward employee eligibility. Eligible employees can take up to 12 weeks of paid leave for a medical or a family reason, 16 weeks if events covered under both family and medical leave occur in the same qualifying period, and up to 18 weeks if there is a serious health condition in pregnancy that results in incapacity. Join the Navigate panel discussion and to get the inside on lessons learned along the way.