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Paid Family Medical Leave (PFML)

City of Tacoma Government Employee Paid Family & Medical Leave

This Paid Family & Medical Leave (PFML) web page pertains to City of Tacoma General Government and Tacoma Public Utility employees only.


Citizens seeking information on this program should visit the State of Washington web page.



The Paid Family and Medical Leave program is a mandatory statewide insurance program that provides paid family and medical leave to eligible employees.  The program is administered by the Employment Security Department (ESD) not the City of Tacoma.  

Washington’s Paid Family and Medical Leave program does not replace the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

 View the City of Tacoma FAQ on PFML



Employees may receive PFML benefits from ESD if they meet eligibility criteria and experience a qualifying event.

Eligible Employees

Have worked at least 820 hours in the state of Washington during the “qualifying period.”

  • The “qualifying period” is the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters  -OR-
  • The last four completed calendar quarters immediately preceding the application for leave.

Qualifying Event(s) 

Leave events can be either family or medical.


Family Leave

  • Care & bond after a baby’s birth or the placement of a child younger than 18
  • Care for a family member experiencing an illness or medical event
  • Certain military-connected events

Medical Leave

  • Care for yourself in relation to an illness or medical event

Family Member Definitions

  • Family member: means a child, grandchild, grandparent, parent, sibling, or spouse of an employee.
  • Parent: means the biological, adoptive, de facto, or foster parent, stepparent, or legal guardian of an employee or the employee’s spouse, or an individual who stood in loco parentis to an employee when the employee was a child.
  • Child: includes a biological, adopted, or foster child, a stepchild, or a child to whom the employee stands in loco parentis, is a legal guardian, or is a de facto parent, regardless of age or dependency status.
  • Spouse: means a husband, wife, or state registered domestic partner
  • Grandchild: means a child of the employee’s child.
  • Grandparent: means a parent of the employee’s parent.

Employee Benefits

Beginning January 1, 2020, family and medical leave will be available and benefits will be payable to qualified employees.  The weekly PFML benefit amount is calculated by ESD and will depend on how much the employee earns in a typical week.  The maximum weekly benefit is $1,000.  Payable benefits will be provided by ESD.

Minimum Claim Duration

The minimum claim duration payment is for eight (8) consecutive hours of leave.

Maximum Claim Duration

Qualified Washington workers are eligible for:

  • Up to 12 weeks of paid family or medical leave
  • Up to 16 weeks of leave when family and medical leave are used in combination (e.g., birth mother pregnancy and parental leave)
  • An additional two (2) weeks of leave is available as a result of pregnancy complications

Filing a Claim

Individuals will be able to apply for paid leave benefits online through ESD’s Paid Family & Medical Leave website. Filing a claim for paid leave benefits with ESD is a separate process from requesting leave from the City of Tacoma.

Employee Responsibility to Provide Notice

If you know you will be applying for PFML, you must provide written notice to your employer at least 30-days in advance.  If the need for leave is unforeseeable, notify your employer as soon as possible.

Examples that count as written notice are:

  • Letter (typed or handwritten)
  • Email
  • Text Message

Your notice should also include:

  • Date of notice
  • Type of leave you will be taking: Family, medical leave or a combination of both
  • Your anticipated start and end date of your leave or the expected duration of leave (if available)

All written notices should be sent to your supervisor with copying the Disability and Leaves Management Office (DLM)It is recommend you keep a copy for your records.