Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in Washington State

In the context of employee rights and entitlements, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in Washington State is an incredibly important subject to comprehend. The FMLA is a labor law that provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave annually for specific family and medical reasons. This comprehensive guide provides a deep dive into the specifics of FMLA in Washington State.

Understanding FMLA in Washington State

The Family and Medical Leave Act in Washington State allows eligible employees to take extended time off from work for certain medical and family reasons. These reasons may include personal or family illness, family military leave, pregnancy, adoption, or the foster care placement of a child. It’s a vital aspect of employee rights that enables individuals to balance their work and family responsibilities by taking reasonable unpaid leave under specific circumstances.

class="font-bold text-gray-800 text-h3 leading-[36px] pt-[21px] pb-[2px] [&_a]:underline-offset-[6px] [&_.underline]:underline-offset-[6px]" dir="ltr">A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Apply for FMLA in Washington State

The application process for FMLA in Washington State involves a few key steps. Both employees and employers have responsibilities in this process to ensure that the FMLA provision is effectively and fairly utilized.

Online Application:

Employees can apply for FMLA in Washington State through the online portal provided by the Washington State Employment Security Department. The portal requires users to provide necessary personal details, employment information, and relevant medical details.

Mail Application:

Alternatively, employees can send a mail application. This method involves downloading, printing, and filling the FMLA application form from the state’s website, then mailing it to the Department of Employment Security. As always, it’s crucial to keep copies of the filled form and any other related documents.

In-Person Application:

Employees can also opt to apply in person at their local Employment Security Department office. This option can be beneficial for those who wish to ask specific questions and get immediate responses to ensure the application is filled out correctly.

Phone Request

Finally, FMLA application can also be completed over the phone. The employee will need to call the Department of Employment Security and be prepared to provide all necessary details about their situation.

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FAQs on FMLA in Washington State

What are the eligibility criteria for FMLA in Washington State?

To be eligible for FMLA, you must have been employed with your employer for at least 12 months, have worked at least 1,250 hours over the past 12 months, and work at a location where your employer employs 50 or more employees within 75 miles.

Can FMLA leave be denied in Washington State?

An employer cannot deny FMLA leave to an eligible employee, but the employer does have the right to request medical certification or second opinions.

What happens if I exhaust my FMLA leave?

If you have exhausted your FMLA leave for the year, your employer is not required to provide you with additional leave under FMLA. However, they may have to provide additional leave under the Americans with Disabilities Act or state law.


Understanding and navigating the FMLA in Washington State can be complex, but it’s crucial for employees who need to balance their professional and personal responsibilities. By following the examples and tips provided in this guide, you can ensure a smooth application process and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing your job is protected during your leave. Remember, complete and accurate information is key to success in your FMLA application.

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