Washington State Leave Benefits (PFML)

Effective January 1, 2020; the new Washington State Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) law applies.

While the following leave policies are being updated, here are some core principles and procedures that will guide our policies' interaction with the new state law.

  •  SPU will comply with the PFML types and periods of allowed leave made available through the law, as well as PFML definitions of eligible family members.
  •  SPU will coordinate benefit payments with the PFML weekly benefit up to paid leave levels in current SPU policy. This means that the paid leave benefits through the PFML will normally pay out a benefit first; then the SPU paid leave benefits may be applied (if applicable) so that the total benefit payment received is the same percentage is it has been under previous SPU short term disability policy.
  • SPU will only pay the difference between the PFML weekly benefit and what the SPU short term disability policy will cover (whether or not PFML benefits are applied for).
  • Allowable leave periods and paid benefits, as defined by the PFML, will be available to SPU employees. However, please carefully note the differences between PFML rules and SPU policies. For example, if the PFML guarantees 12 weeks of paid leave but SPU policy allows only 8 weeks of short term disability benefits, the 4 week difference is available for use but since the leave is outside of the SPU policy, an SPU employee who takes advantage of the full 12 weeks of leave may receive only the PFML weekly benefit during the 4 weeks outside of the SPU paid leave policy.
  •  Employees may use accrued sick leave or vacation time to supplement benefits received from PFML and/or SPU short term disability, up to 100% of normal pay. 

To learn about the new PFML, go to https://paidleave.wa.gov/. This site also provides a weekly PFML benefit amount estimate, guides/FAQs, and the application process. Click here to review the Patient and Family Guide to Paid Family and Medical Leave.

Please consult with Human Resources (206) 281-2809 or hr@spu.edu regarding your particular situation if you have questions about the PFML and/or SPU leave policies.