MacDonald Hoague & Bayless attorneys are leaders in helping employees exercise their rights to family and medical leave.

Many laws require Washington employers to allow employees to take time off of work for certain reasons.  For example, employees may have the right to take leave from work due to: 

  • The employee’s serious medical condition or disability; 
  • A family member’s serious medical condition;
  • To bond with their newborn child; 
  • Sickness related to pregnancy or childbirth; 
  • Placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care;
  • A routine sickness of the employee or a minor child;
  • Domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking;
  • Notice of military deployment or during leave from deployment of an employee’s spouse or registered domestic partner.  

MHB attorneys help Washington employees navigate these various laws and understand their legal rights, so they can take the leave they need and then get back to work.  Whether an employee is entitled to take leave from work, and for how long, typically depends on several factors including the size of the employer, the length of employment, and the specific circumstances of the employee’s need for time off.  

We also help clients obtain compensation and file lawsuits, as necessary, to hold employers accountable when they violate the law.  In most situations where an employee is legally entitled to take leave from work and does so, the employer must restore the employee to the same or a similar position after the leave is over, and it is unlawful the employer to deny a request for leave or to discriminate or retaliate against the employee for requesting or taking leave. 

Note: Significant changes are coming in 2020.  Employees in Washington state will be entitled to paid leave under Washington’s new Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program if they have worked 820 hours within the qualifying period (four calendar quarters) and meet other requirements.  The amount of pay will depend on the employee’s wage and the state’s average weekly wage.