State Legislature passes paid family leave law

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paid family leave

OLYMPIA- The Legislature passed a bill on Friday that establishes one of the first paid family and medical leave laws in the nation.

The new Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program will provide up to 16 weeks of leave for those wanting to take time off to care for a new infant or care for a family member.

12th District Representative, Cary Condotta opposed the bill and said during the floor debate that its bad for business.

“My biggest problem is the fact that all this plays into one thing that we all seem to be against I guess, or we talk about it, and that is big corporations and the one percent,” Condotta said. “The fact is, when this is all said and done Home Depot will survive this. They’ll survive paid sick leave and $13.50 minimum wage and this paid family leave but Kelly’s Ace Hardware in Chelan probably won’t.”

Condotta went on to give examples of small businesses from around North Central Washington that he believes would suffer under the new legislation.

“We want to do a lot of good things but unfortunately in the aggregate we don’t always do good things,” Condotta said. “I think the small business community is in very dangerous places right now. I know the folks back home, I’ve talked to them about this, they take care of their employees.”

Washington joins California, New Jersey, Rhode Island and New York in adopting family-leave legislation.