Updated at: 26-04-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

We’ll talk about how to apply for maternity leave in WA. As a pregnant employee, you are entitled to maternity leave in the state of Washington.

At least 50 employees in a 75-mile radius and a 12-month employment history are required to be eligible for this sort of unpaid vacation from work in Washington state, which can be taken up to a total of 12 weeks per year for maternity or paternity leave.

Filling out an FMLA form will allow you to request that your employer cover the cost of your medical care (or something similar).

This would allow you to take more time off from work if necessary, but it’s not always guaranteed, so it’s best to seek additional vacation days. Employers, on the other hand, require written confirmation from your treating physician if they haven’t already given you permission to do so.

Time Off During Pregnancy

Laws barring pregnancy discrimination and laws requiring pregnancy leave may both protect you if you need time off during your pregnancy.

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Pregnancy Discrimination

The federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act does not mandate that firms provide time off for pregnant employees. Employees who can’t work because of pregnancy must be treated the same as those who are temporarily incapacitated for other reasons. Because if your firm allows time off for other temporary disabilities, such as broken bones or heart attacks, then pregnant employees must also be allowed the same time off when they cannot work.

Family and Medical Leave

As a result of the FMLA, eligible employees can take up to a year’s worth of unpaid time off for significant health issues or to care for a newborn child (among other things). Pregnancy is seen as a medical emergency by the government. Pregnancy and childbirth leave may be available to you if you meet the requirements of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Pregnant women can also seek FMLA leave for normal checkups and doctor’s appointments. (Our page on FMLA leave for pregnancy and disability explains the eligibility conditions for this type of absence.)

A family leave law in the state of Washington mandates that firms with at least 50 employees give their workers up to 12 weeks of leave for various reasons, including the employee’s own significant health condition and parental responsibilities.

Additionally, Washington has a state legislation that mandates that employers with at least eight employees provide pregnancy disability leave. Pregnancy, childbirth, and related conditions may necessitate a leave of absence for employees. Under this law, you are free to take as much or as little time off as you want: If you are unable to work because of your pregnancy, you are entitled to paid leave. Pregnancy disability leave time does not count towards the 12 weeks of family and medical leave you are entitled to under state law.

Parenting Leave

In order to spend time with a new child, whether they are biological, adoptive, or foster, employees are granted leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). It’s covered by the 12-week leave cap. As a result, if you take two weeks of FMLA leave while pregnant, you’ll have ten weeks left over to use as parental leave after the birth of your baby.

Because of the state’s family and medical leave statute, eligible employees in Washington may take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for a newborn. Time off for pregnancy disability under Washington’s family and medical leave law does not count towards your 12 weeks off, therefore you may be eligible to more than 12 weeks of total leave. Washington’s family and medical leave law provides 12 additional weeks of parental leave if you are unable to work for two weeks before and four weeks after the birth of a child under the state’s prenatal disability leave law.

Part-Time or Reduced Schedule Leave

Intermittent leave under the FMLA is permissible if an employee needs it due to illness or injury. Using a few hours of your FMLA leave for a prenatal check-up is a good example of how you can get back to work without taking a full day off.

However, when it comes to parental leave, the laws change. If you want to take a portion of your parental leave immediately after the birth of your child and the remainder when your partner returns to work, you will need your employer’s permission to do so. FMLA and Washington’s family and medical leave statute both mandate this. Intermittent use of parental leave is not automatically granted.

The time off must be used up within a year of the baby’s birth, even if your employer agrees to let you take it in spurts.

Parents Who Work for the Same Employer

If you and your spouse both work for the same company, your employer may be able to impose a 12-week cap on your combined parental leave. When it comes to the FMLA and Washington’s Family and Medical Leave Act, this is true. Your own 12 weeks of FMLA leave, if not used for child care, will still be accessible to you for other reasons, such as a significant health problem you’re dealing with yourself.

As in the case of Joan and Bob, who both work for the same organization. Joan is put on bed rest for the final five weeks of her pregnancy by her doctor, for which she is eligible for FMLA. Motherhood takes up the remaining seven weeks of her FMLA vacation. As a result, Bob is only eligible for a total of five weeks of FMLA-mandated parental leave. His seven weeks of FMLA leave will not be forfeited, though, in case he gets sick later or the baby is diagnosed with a major health problem.

Getting Paid During Your Time Off

Family leave under Washington state’s family leave law is unpaid, as is FMLA leave. However, if you have earned paid leave (such as sick days, vacation, or PTO), you may request or your employer may force you to use it to get paid during your time off.

Maternity and paternity leave benefits, parental benefits, and short-term disability insurance may also be available to you through your company. Inquire about leave options with your HR representative or boss (as well as checking your employee handbook).

How to Navigate Washington Parental Leave

Step One: Telling Your Employer You’re About to Become a Parent

Pregnancy does not have to be disclosed to your employer at a specified time. When applying for a job, you have no obligation to reveal that you are pregnant or soon to have a baby. Pregnancy discrimination is against the law on both the federal and state levels. Pregnancy-related conditions will necessitate disclosing your pregnancy, as explained below.

It’s usually a good idea to put your thoughts down on paper before telling your boss. A follow-up email, text or letter may even suffice if you had the initial conversation face-to-face.

Step Two: Taking Pregnancy & Parental Leave

Now things get a little more tricky. However, I’ll do my best to make things as simple as possible. When it comes to paid and unpaid time off, Washington and federal rules don’t always line up properly. As a result, you’ll want to pay close attention to this section in order to optimize your vacation or compensation.

Paid Family and Medical Leave Law (WPFML) allows eligible employees to take up to twelve weeks of paid leave to recuperate from a major sickness or accident, to care for a family member with a serious medical need, or to bond with a newborn child or a child adopted or fostered. WPFML allows new mothers to take up to 16 weeks of unpaid leave every year. WPFML may be available to pregnant employees for up to 18 weeks if they are experiencing issues. WPFML is available to all parents, regardless of whether they have a child. These benefits may be available to fathers, partners, adoptive and foster parents. You are qualified for WPFML if you worked a total of 820 hours in the preceding year.

Additionally, WFML protects individuals who have worked for a company employing more than 50 people in Washington for at least a year and a total of at least 1,250 hours in the state. There is no need to worry about losing your employment as a result of this policy. After your vacation has ended, your company must reinstate you in the same or a substantially similar job.

Pregnancy leave and time spent bonding with a new child are both covered under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). After working for your company at least 12 months (this does not have to be consecutive) and logging 1,250 hours (roughly 26 hours per week on average) the year prior to your leave, you are entitled to 12 weeks of job-protected, unpaid leave to care for a serious health condition (including pregnancy and childbirth related conditions) or to bond with a new baby. Your employer must have at least 50 employees at your worksite or within 75 miles of your location to qualify. The WPFML and FMLA leave can be taken at the same time. You may not be able to take more time off under FMLA, but you may have greater protection in returning to your employment following your leave of absence. You may see some examples of how FMLA and WPFML may interact at the conclusion of this post.

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Notifying your employer 30 days before you expect to begin your absence is a good idea. Your doctor’s note documenting your duration of disability may be requested by your employer. Please notify your employer as soon as possible if you need to extend or shorten your absence, and be prepared to give an updated doctor’s note. Doing things in writing is always the best option. After an in-person conversation, you may always follow up with a text, email or letter. Inquire with your employer about whether or not you’ll be required to contribute to the cost of your health insurance going forward.

To apply for WA Paid Family Medical Leave (WPFML), you must notify your employer 30 days in advance and fill out the online application at www.paidleave.wa.gov. To get your weekly wage, you must first apply for and be granted leave of absence.

How FMLA & WPFML May Interact

The right to take up to 16 weeks of paid leave following the birth of a child for a birth parent who had a vaginal delivery and qualifies for FMLA& WPFML. Pregnancy difficulties may qualify you for up to 18 paid weeks of time off. A maximum of $1,000 a week is available to you under the WPFML during this time.

After the baby is born, a non-birth parent who qualifies for both FMLA and WPFML can take 12 weeks of leave, with WPFML running concurrently with FMLA. The WPFMLA will cover the entire 12 weeks, up to a maximum weekly payment of $1,000.

If you’d want more information on any of these rights, check out this webpage or the resources below.

What if My Employer Has a Salary Continuation and/or Paid Parental Leave Policy?

While some or all of the benefits indicated above may be available to you when you are on paid parental leave, it is possible that some or all of those benefits will be available to you while you are on salary continuation or paid parental leave (or both). You can find out more about these benefits by reading your employer’s employee handbook or by contacting the Human Resources Department.


How does maternity leave work in WA?

Eligible employees in Washington State can take 12 weeks of job-protected leave in a 12-month period following the birth or adoption of a child under the state’s Family Leave Act (FLA). A standard maternity leave of 6+12=18 weeks is available if you are eligible for both FLA and pregnant disability.

How do I get paid for maternity leave in Washington state?

As long as they worked at least 820 hours a year in Washington during the qualifying period, nearly every employee is eligible for Paid Leave. Request a Review by logging into your Paid Leave account.

Who is eligible for WA state paid family leave?

Working in Washington for at least 820 hours a year (about 16 hours a week) qualifies nearly everyone for paid leave. One job or a combination of occupations can meet the 820 hours requirement. It doesn’t matter if you work full-time, part-time, temporary, or seasonal.

How long is paid maternity leave WA?

For up to a year (14 weeks for pregnancy-related health conditions).

How much does WA paid family leave pay?

While an employee is on approved leave, benefits pay a percentage of the individual’s gross weekly salary – anything from $100 to $1,000. You must have worked a total of at least 820 hours for any Washington businesses in the previous 12 months in order to be eligible for benefits under the Paid Family and Medical Leave program.

Is there a waiting period for WA paid family leave?

All types of leave, save for bonding leave and military family leave, need a one-week waiting period…. For a waiting week to count, your weekly leave must include at least eight hours of uninterrupted time.

How long does my partner get paid paternity leave?

The father is entitled to paternity leave if he and his partner have taken an equal amount of parental leave. This can continue for up to 52 weeks after the due date of the baby!

Are any supplements paid to me when I am on maternity leave?

Yes! Supplements may be adequate to cover housing or daycare costs when working from home before returning to a full-time job, depending on one’s income.

This will also be determined by the length of time a person has worked for the organization, so be on the lookout for any changes that may occur following a maternity break. It’s impossible to say for sure what would happen in this situation because every woman’s situation is unique.

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What happens to my 401k or pension if I leave the company?

Unless one requests in writing before departing, the same amount is carried over into a new plan. The best thing to do is not to do this because it will be time-consuming and complicated, so just let your employer know that you are going on.

Everything will remain simple this way! Depending on the person’s age when they started working, there may be a penalty for taking money out of the lump amount too early, but this is something that varies from person to person.

That question can be answered by a manager, but it’s probably best to talk to human resources about what occurs after maternity leave.

How long is your job protected after maternity leave?

After your maternity leave ends, you’ll receive your regular salary and your work will be safe for the next six months.

Who else does my partner get paternity benefits from?

Even if one parent takes parental leave, the other can still profit financially from it.

Before they can get paid, they’ll have to fill out an application, which should take about two weeks. This person is entitled to a maximum of 66% of their wage because they normally take over household tasks while the other returns to work.

Unless both parents agree to take an additional day or two off if necessary, there are only three days off per child (up to the age of 12).

What if I don’t qualify for maternity allowance?

If you don’t qualify for any of these perks, your company may nevertheless provide you with a similar package, which may include additional compensation or other incentives. In order to get them on board with the idea of taking time off work, you need sit down and talk with them.

You can save money in special savings accounts with mutual businesses so that when you return from parental leave, you have money to help cover the costs of childcare, diapers, and other necessities.

Right now, the greatest thing you can do is learn about the benefits offered by various businesses so that you know what to ask for when the time comes.

How do I resign after maternity leave?

You have six weeks after delivery to decide whether or not to resign your position.

Is there an upper age limit to get pregnant?

No laws or policies hinder you from having a baby at any age!

What does it mean for my job if I am five months pregnant and don’t work full time?

Pregnancy leave is not required by your employer if you work fewer than 30 hours per week. During this time of change, you can apply for Social Security benefits, which will provide you with some money. But don’t forget to take advantage of the first six weeks of motherhood!

How do you count days of maternity leave?

Maternity leave is counted from the day you stop working until the day you return to work. In this case, if your last day of work is August 13th, and you have to begin maternity leave the next morning, that’s two complete workdays.

How long are you able to receive disability benefits for being pregnant under FMLA?

If you’re pregnant, you won’t be able to get any compensation from your employer, unless state legislation provides otherwise (which could be nothing). While unable to work, you can get a monthly benefit if you apply for Social Security Disability Insurance after delivering birth.

A five-month waiting period is not an option if you’re going on maternity leave in the near future. It’s also possible to qualify for short-term disability benefits, which would cover a portion of your salary while you’re pregnant and for the first six weeks after you give birth.