- Seattle and Washington state are both pushing for paid family leave policies, reports Geek Wire. Under Seattle’s plan, employers would pay 70% of the cost and employees would be responsible for 30%. Both plans would be funded through payroll fees.
- Geek Wire says the divided Washington state legislature faces resistance to a paid family leave policy or compromise. However, the politically far-left Seattle is ready to move forward with a generous policy, which includes up to six months of paid family leave to care for a child or an ill family member and 12 weeks for employees to care for themselves if ill.
- The city is prepared to approve a paid family leave policy on its own rather than wait for the state to battle out a proposal. Washington is asking Seattle to wait until one policy for the state is ironed out, says Geek Wire.
Tech firms offer more generous benefits than many businesses in other industries, so Seattle and the state likely won’t get too much resistance from the technology sector that has a strong foothold there. Tech firms can offer paid family leave benefits to better retain women workers, a segment of the workforce they struggle to recruit and hire in significant numbers.
Seattle likely is willing to move alone with its paid family leave policy because the state could be locked in a long battle to approve legislation. The state argues that all Washington cities – not just Seattle – should benefit from paid family leave.
Four states and two cities, New York and Washington, D.C., have paid family leave policies in the works. Whether more states and municipalities will follow is uncertain, but locales with GOP-led governments will likely resist paid leave policies. Companies that have adopted their own paid leave policies aren't yet leading a stampede, but public discussion of such plans has increased sharply within the past few years.