PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
EMPLOYMENT SECURITY DEPARTMENT
[Filed January 9, 2020, 5:40 p.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 preproposal statement of inquiry includes, but is not limited to, updating the definition of "claim year," and adding a definition for "sibling."
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: This rule making focuses on definitions for the PFML program.
The existing definition of a "claim year" in rule is being revisited as part of this rule making. The department will consider whether the current definition could result in an employee claiming more leave than the law intends and what possible alternative definitions may better suit the needs of the program as established in Title 50A
Statute does not define "sibling," even though it defines many other familial connections. Without this definition, it is unclear when an individual in a sibling relationship may take leave under the program. Therefore, this rule making will define "sibling" for PFML.
The department recognizes the need for clear and usable guidance for ongoing programmatic operations. These rules will contribute to that guidance.
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 9, 2020
Policy and Rules Manager for
Paid Family and Medical Leave