An employer is NOT required to give workers paid holiday, vacation, sick or bereavement leave. Paid leave for holidays, vacation, sickness or bereavement following the death of a close family member are considered “benefits” that may be paid by the business under a policy, written agreement, personal contract, oral agreement, collective bargaining agreement or other form of agreement. There are no state laws requiring that such benefits be given. If the business agrees to give these benefits and then does not do so, workers may sue the business in a private legal suit in small claims court or through a private attorney. L&I does not enforce these agreements.
The federal Family Medical and Leave Act (FMLA) permits workers to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave. To qualify, the worker must have worked at least 12 months for the employer for a total of at least 1,250 hours and the employer must have 50 or more employees. This unpaid leave can be used to:
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