OLYMPIA, Wash. -- A day after a Senate committee approved a measure to repeal an as-of-yet unfunded law giving parents five weeks of paid time off to be with a new child, a House committee heard arguments on why that same program should be expanded.
Paid family leave was approved by the Legislature in 2007, and was supposed to start paying benefits of up to $250 a week starting in October 2009. But the Legislature has postponed its implementation twice.
The House Committee on Labor & Workforce Development on Tuesday held a public hearing on the bill that would expand the underlying measure to include caring for a family member or an employee's own disability. The bill would expand the weekly benefit from a flat rate to a percentage of the employee's wages, up to $1,000 per week.