Washington tax will pay for family medical leave


VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — If you work in Washington, get ready for a new tax to be taken out of your paycheck starting in January. 

The tax will help pay for three months of family medical leave for the birth of a child or serious illness in the family.

Washington will be the fifth state to make sure there is paid leave for new parents. Washington’s law is the most generous compared to other states. It guarantees to pay at least 90% of a worker’s income for three months.

The tax will be deducted from paychecks starting in January 2019, but the benefit doesn’t start until 2020.

The law also requires businesses with more than 50 employees to kick in money as well, but if it’s a small business, employers aren’t required to pay in. An employer would pay close to $3.50 a month per employee.

“Once we see the first month of these programs, see where our wages have gone up we will make a decision whether to opt in to the program,” Grocery Outlet owner Carlos Rodriguez-Vega said. 

If you make minimum wage, about $5.50 a month will be taken out of your check. 

“I think it’s important to have this option, it’s only about $2 per paycheck for me, I probably wouldn’t even notice it wasn’t there,” Grocery Outlet manager and new mom Jennifer Rolph said. 

When Rolph gave birth to Grayson last year, she had to use sick days and unpaid leave before she went back to work earlier than she wanted to. 

“That wasn’t possible,” she said. “I had to pay my bills, I was back to work after a month.”

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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