Search
49.78.010  <<  49.78.020 >>   49.78.090

RCW 49.78.020

Definitions.

Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter.

     (1) "Child" means a biological, adopted, or foster child, a stepchild, a legal ward, or a child of a person standing in loco parentis, who is: (a) Under eighteen years of age; or (b) eighteen years of age or older and incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability.

     (2) "Department" means the department of labor and industries.

     (3) "Director" means the director of the department.

     (4)(a) "Employee" means a person who has been employed: (i) For at least twelve months by the employer with respect to whom leave is requested under RCW 49.78.220; and (ii) for at least one thousand two hundred fifty hours of service with the employer during the previous twelve-month period.

     (b) "Employee" does not mean a person who is employed at a worksite at which the employer as defined in (a) of this subsection employs less than fifty employees if the total number of employees employed by that employer within seventy-five miles of that worksite is less than fifty.

     (5) "Employer" means: (a) Any person, firm, corporation, partnership, business trust, legal representative, or other business entity which engages in any business, industry, profession, or activity in this state and includes any unit of local government including, but not limited to, a county, city, town, municipal corporation, quasi-municipal corporation, or political subdivision, which employs fifty or more employees for each working day during each of twenty or more calendar workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year; (b) the state, state institutions, and state agencies; and (c) any unit of local government including, but not limited to, a county, city, town, municipal corporation, quasi-municipal corporation, or political subdivision.

     (6) "Employment benefits" means all benefits provided or made available to employees by an employer, including group life insurance, health insurance, disability insurance, sick leave, annual leave, educational benefits, and pensions except benefits that are provided by a practice or written policy of an employer or through an employee benefit plan as defined in 29 U.S.C. Sec. 1002(3).

     (7) "Family member" means a child, parent, spouse, or state registered domestic partner of an employee.

     (8) "Health care provider" means: (a) A person licensed as a physician under chapter 18.71 RCW or an osteopathic physician and surgeon under chapter 18.57 RCW; (b) a person licensed as an advanced registered nurse practitioner under chapter 18.79 RCW; or (c) any other person determined by the director to be capable of providing health care services.

     (9) "Intermittent leave" is leave taken in separate blocks of time due to a single qualifying reason.

     (10) "Leave for a family member's serious health condition" means leave as described in RCW 49.78.220(1)(c).

     (11) "Leave for the birth or placement of a child" means leave as described in RCW 49.78.220(1) (a) or (b).

     (12) "Leave for the employee's serious health condition" means leave as described in RCW 49.78.220(1)(d).

     (13) "Parent" means the biological or adoptive parent of an employee or an individual who stood in loco parentis to an employee when the employee was a child.

     (14) "Period of incapacity" means an inability to work, attend school, or perform other regular daily activities because of the serious health condition, treatment of that condition or recovery from it, or subsequent treatment in connection with such inpatient care.

     (15) "Reduced leave schedule" means a leave schedule that reduces the usual number of hours per workweek, or hours per workday, of an employee.

     (16)(a) "Serious health condition" means an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves:

     (i) Inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility, including any period of incapacity; or

     (ii) Continuing treatment by a health care provider. A serious health condition involving continuing treatment by a health care provider includes any one or more of the following:

     (A) A period of incapacity of more than three consecutive calendar days, and any subsequent treatment or period of incapacity relating to the same condition, that also involves:

     (I) Treatment two or more times by a health care provider, by a nurse or physician's assistant under direct supervision of a health care provider, or by a provider of health care services under orders of, or on referral by, a health care provider; or

     (II) Treatment by a health care provider on at least one occasion which results in a regimen of continuing treatment under the supervision of the health care provider;

     (B) Any period of incapacity due to pregnancy, or for prenatal care;

     (C) Any period of incapacity or treatment for such incapacity due to a chronic serious health condition. A chronic serious health condition is one which:

     (I) Requires periodic visits for treatment by a health care provider, or by a nurse or physician's assistant under direct supervision of a health care provider;

     (II) Continues over an extended period of time, including recurring episodes of a single underlying condition; and

     (III) May cause episodic rather than a continuing period of incapacity;

     (D) A period of incapacity which is permanent or long-term due to a condition for which treatment may not be effective. The employee or family member must be under the continuing supervision of, but need not be receiving active treatment by, a health care provider; or

     (E) Any period of absence to receive multiple treatments, including any period of recovery from the treatments, by a health care provider or by a provider of health care services under orders of, or on referral by, a health care provider, either for restorative surgery after an accident or other injury, or for a condition that would likely result in a period of incapacity of more than three consecutive calendar days in the absence of medical intervention or treatment, such as cancer, severe arthritis, or kidney disease.

     (b) Treatment for purposes of (a) of this subsection includes, but is not limited to, examinations to determine if a serious health condition exists and evaluations of the condition. Treatment does not include routine physical examinations, eye examinations, or dental examinations. Under (a)(ii)(A)(II) of this subsection, a regimen of continuing treatment includes, but is not limited to, a course of prescription medication or therapy requiring special equipment to resolve or alleviate the health condition. A regimen of continuing treatment that includes taking over-the-counter medications, such as aspirin, antihistamines, or salves, or bed-rest, drinking fluids, exercise, and other similar activities that can be initiated without a visit to a health care provider, is not, by itself, sufficient to constitute a regimen of continuing treatment for purposes of this chapter.

     (c) Conditions for which cosmetic treatments are administered are not "serious health conditions" unless inpatient hospital care is required or unless complications develop. Unless complications arise, the common cold, the flu, ear aches, upset stomach, minor ulcers, headaches other than migraine, routine dental or orthodontia problems, and periodontal disease are examples of conditions that do not meet the definition of a "serious health condition" and do not qualify for leave under this chapter. Restorative dental or plastic surgery after an injury or removal of cancerous growths are serious health conditions provided all the other conditions of this section are met. Mental illness resulting from stress or allergies may be serious health conditions provided all the other conditions of this section are met.

     (d) Substance abuse may be a serious health condition if the conditions of this section are met. However, leave may only be taken for treatment for substance abuse by a health care provider or by a provider of health care services upon referral by a health care provider. Absence from work because of the employee's use of the substance, rather than for treatment, does not qualify for leave under this chapter.

     (e) Absences attributable to incapacity under (a)(ii)(B) or (C) of this subsection qualify for leave under this chapter even though the employee or the immediate family member does not receive treatment from a health care provider during the absence, and even if the absence does not last more than three days.

     (17) "Spouse" means a husband or wife, as the case may be, or state registered domestic partner.

[2009 c 521 § 135; 2006 c 59 § 2; 1996 c 178 § 14; 1989 1st ex.s. c 11 § 2.]

Notes:

     Effective date -- 1996 c 178: See note following RCW 18.35.110.