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PDFWAC 357-31-520

How does the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 and the family leave law interact with the civil service rules?

Benefits provided through state laws and civil service rules must not be diminished or withheld in complying with the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA).
Washington's family leave law (chapter 49.78 RCW) generally is similar to and runs concurrently with the federal FMLA for those provisions outlined in WAC 357-31-525 (1)(a) through (c) but also allows leave to be taken for the care of an employee's registered domestic partner with a serious health condition. However, Washington's family leave law does not address exigency leave, described in WAC 357-31-525 (1)(d), or leave for a covered service member, described in WAC 357-31-525(2). Therefore, an employer is not required to provide exigency leave or leave for a covered service member for a registered domestic partner.
Because the FMLA does not recognize registered domestic partners, an absence to care for an employee's registered domestic partner is not counted towards the twelve weeks of the FMLA entitlement described in WAC 357-31-525. For example:
If an employee uses twelve weeks of leave to care for their registered domestic partner during a twelve-month period, and no other FMLA leave was used, the employee is still entitled to his or her full twelve-week FMLA entitlement during the same twelve-month period, as the leave used was provided for a purpose not covered by FMLA; however, if an employee uses twelve weeks of leave to care for their parent or for another FMLA qualifying reason, then during that same twelve-month period the employer would not be required to provide additional leave under Washington's family leave law to care for the employee's registered domestic partner because the twelve-week entitlement under FMLA and Washington's family leave law has been exhausted.
[Statutory Authority: Chapter 41.06 RCW. WSR 09-17-056 and 09-18-113, § 357-31-520, filed 8/13/09 and 9/2/09, effective 12/3/09; WSR 05-08-140, § 357-31-520, filed 4/6/05, effective 7/1/05.]
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