Pregnancy & Parental Leave

When can a parent take leave for pregnancy or for a new child?

  • Who can take leave to care for a new child, and how much can they take?

    A parent can take up to 12 weeks of paid or unpaid leave (depending on the employer) to care for a newborn, adopted, or foster child if she/he:

    • Works for a business with 50 or more employees.
    • Has worked at least 12 months for that business for a total of at least 1,250 hours in the preceding year.

    For more detail, see the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or contact 1-866-487-9243.

  • Does a parent get PAID leave while taking time off to care for a new child?

    Neither Washington State nor federal laws require that parents get paid leave while taking time off to care for a new child.

  • What rights do you have for time off for pregnancy?

    The answer depends on how many workers the woman's employer has. If the woman's employer has:

    • Fewer than 8 employees or the business is a religious non-profit organization, she is not guaranteed a job when she is able to return to work. See information on the Washington State Human Rights Commission.
    • 8 or more employees and the business is not a religious non-profit organization, she is allowed maternity 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. For more information on maternity disability, see the Washington State Human Rights Commission Web site, or contact 1-800-233-3247.
    • 50 or more employees - The Washington State Family Leave Act (FLA) provides pregnant women more time off than the 12 weeks of leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). If the employee  works for an employer with 50 or more employees working within 75 miles of her work site, and she has worked there for at least a year and has worked 1,250 hours in the past 12 months, then she is allowed 12 weeks of state Family Leave (FLA) for newborn baby care in addition to the pregnancy disability leave ordered off by her health care provider.  This will be more total leave than that afforded under the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). See Family Leave Act - Frequently Asked Questions.

Download and print these helpful documents:
Acrobat PDF file Family Leave Act - Frequently Asked Questions (122 KB PDF).
Acrobat PDF file Table of Family Care and Family Leave Laws (131 KB PDF) - Provides a comparison of state and federal laws regarding leave for pregnancy and other family care issues.

Get a list of workplace posters required and recommended by not only L&I but other state of Washington or federal agencies as well.

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