The Washington Paid Family Medical Leave (PFML) has been live for a couple of years now. There are some changes in 2022, with the financials of the program.

Washington Paid Family Medical Leave (PFML) benefits

What is the Update?

The contribution rate was 0.4% (capped at $142,000) in 2021 with employers (with 50 or more employees in the U.S.) contributing 36.67% and employees contributing 63.33%.

Starting January 1st, 2022, the contribution rate increased to 0.6% (up to the 2022 Social Security Cap of $147,000). Of that 0.6%, employers (with 50 or more employees in the U.S) will pay up to 26.78% and employees will pay 73.22%.

The Maximum Weekly Benefit increased from $1,206 to $1,327.

Washington PFML has made some updates to the law mid-year.

As a reminder, there is a waiting week for medical leaves. There is also a waiting week for family care leave (which is one leave type that falls under the PFML “family leave” type). The two other forms of “family leave” i.e., parental, and military exigency, do not have a waiting week. Effective June 9, 2022, the waiting week in WA does not apply to medical leave taken “upon the birth of a child”. It will continue to apply to other medical leaves and family care leaves.

A general update was also made to the PFML waiting week effective June 9, 2022. The waiting week will no longer count towards an employee’s overall balance of leave. Additionally, a new leave type has been added for child loss. Family leave may also include leave for the loss of a newborn or newly adopted child (within 7 days of child’s death).

Handbook/Policy Updates

Updates to your company handbook may need to be made if you include Washington state-specific benefits information. 

Notice Requirements

The Employment Security Department (ESD) has released the updated mandatory employer poster and paycheck insert for 2022. The paycheck insert is optional.

As a result of the updates effective June 9, 2022, we are not certain if the state will release an updated poster (to reference the new “child loss” leave type). This is something we will continue to monitor and provide any updates via our website and newsletter.

Larkin Action

The Larkin Company has updated our leave packets to include the 2022 updates.  

Ensure you are offsetting any salary continuation/company top-up pay aligned with the new benefit rate maximum, where applicable.  The Larkin Company will adjust offsets for any top-up (leave of absence pay) calculations or STD, accordingly, if we handle these services for you.   

*Reminder: claims that start in 2021 will be awarded 2021 benefit rates. Claims that begin on or after January 1, 2022, will be eligible for the new benefit rate.

Further Company Considerations 

Take note of any changes to the waiting week referenced above that are effective June 9, 2022, to ensure you are offsetting benefits accordingly. For example, ensuring that you are offsetting benefits from day one of an employee’s leave if they are taking medical leave “upon the birth of a child” from June 9, 2022. As noted, for any pay that Larkin handles specifically, we will ensure we are offsetting benefits accordingly.

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The Larkin Company has taken reasonable steps to ensure the accuracy of the information on this page, however we make no representation or warranty of any kind as to its accuracy or completeness. These resources should not be construed or substituted for legal advice. Accordingly, before taking any actions based upon such information provided herein, we encourage you to seek competent legal advice from a licensed attorney or appropriate professionals.