Laws About Caring for Family

Washington State leave laws enforced by L&I

The Washington State Family Care Act will inform you about using your earned paid leave to care for family members.

The Washington State Family Leave Act will inform you about protected leave to care for a registered domestic partner, leave in addition to FMLA leave for women temporarily disabled because of pregnancy-related conditions and childbirth, and additional leave for employees who take qualifying exigency leave under the FMLA.

Washington Law Against Discrimination Enforced by Human Rights Commission

If a woman works for a business with 8 or more employees, she is may be entitled to pregnancy or childbirth disability leave until released to work by her health care provider. The amount of disability leave is based on her individual condition. For questions about pregnancy or childbirth disability leave, see the Human Rights Commission’s fact sheet: "Pregnancy and the Intersection of FLA, FMLA and WLAD" or call the Human Rights Commission at 1-800-233-3247.

Family and Medical Leave Act enforced by U.S. Department of Labor

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) ( entitles employees who work for an employer with 50 or more employees and have worked at least 12 months for the employer for at least 1,250 hours during the previous 12-month period to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave.

  • To bond with a newborn, newly adopted or newly placed foster child;
  • To recover from the employee's own serious health condition; or
  • To care for a child, spouse or parent with a serious health condition;
  • For a qualifying exigency while the employee's spouse, child or parent who is a military member is on covered active duty or call.

An eligible employee is entitled to up to 26 weeks of leave to care for a covered military servicemember with a serious injury or illness during a single 12-month period.

For questions about the FMLA, see the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 fact sheet (81.3 KB PDF) ( or call the U.S. Department of Labor at 206-398-8039 or 503-326-3057 if you work in Clark, Cowlitz, Wahkiakum, Skamania or Klickitat counties.

For more information:

For questions or training opportunities on Washington's leave laws, contact L&I’s protected leave specialist at 360-902-4930.

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