This is huge! Late last night, the Washington State Legislature passed a comprehensive paid family and medical leave law!

Starting in 2020, Washington workers will be able to take paid leave for the birth or placement of a new child, to take care of an ill family member, or for their own serious health conditions. Washington is only the 5th state in the nation, plus DC, to pass such a law – and ours is the strongest of its kind!

While this law will benefit all workers and their families, we are particularly excited about the law’s impacts on women’s physical and economic health. Women are the primary or co-breadwinners for nearly two-thirds of families in the U.S. Even so, women continue to take on the majority of family caregiving responsibilities, meaning they are often the ones who take time off of work to stay home with a sick child or care for an aging parent. Plus, people need time to recover after giving birth, but nearly a quarter of working U.S. moms return to work within two short weeks of doing so.

Washington just made it possible for all people in these situations to take the time off when they need it, without the fear of losing a paycheck.

This law is the result of a true community effort, and is a powerful testament to the important policy and cultural shifts that we’re able to accomplish together. The final bill reflects Washington State’s values by including policies that are meaningful for workers, equitable for diverse families, and manageable for businesses. We are so thrilled!

So what does this groundbreaking law mean for you? Visit our blog for the full details!

Legal Voice has worked for more than a decade—in recent years with our partners in the Washington Work & Family Coalition, and this year specifically with legislators and representatives from the business community—to secure this victory for Washington families. Please join us in thanking the key legislators who made this law a reality: Sen. Joe Fain, Sen. Karen Keiser, and Rep. June Robinson.

Thank you for sharing your story, raising your voice, and blazing a path to a new, better reality for Washington’s working families.