PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
EMPLOYMENT SECURITY DEPARTMENT
[Filed January 21, 2020, 10:32 a.m.]
Subject of Possible Rule Making: Continuing to implement the paid family and medical leave (PFML) program (Title 50A
RCW) requires updating existing rules and promulgating new rules to ensure clarity and make necessary changes as we discover programmatic needs. This rule making will address when an employer is required to maintain existing health benefit coverage for an employee taking PFML, and other related topics.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 50A.04.215
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: More than one interpretation exists of legislative language that dictates the exact timing and circumstances of when an employer must continue to offer health benefits to an employee during a period of PFML. The rule will clarify the department's interpretation.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: No federal agencies and no other state agencies regulate this program as it is a new state entitlement with authority granted solely to the employment security department.
Process for Developing New Rule: The draft rules will be shared with the public, stakeholders, and the program's advisory committee. The department will solicit input from all involved parties and consider all comments in the development of the final rules.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting April Amundson, 640 Woodland Square Loop S.E., Lacey, WA 68503, phone 360-485-2816, TTY Teresa Eckstein, State EO Officer, 771  or 360-902-9354, email Rules@esd.wa.gov.
January 21, 2020
Policy and Rules Manager