Updated December 30, 2021
On December 22, 2021, Governor Jay Inslee sent a letter to Washington’s Employment Security Department (ESD) ordering it to not collect premiums under the Washington Cares Fund program until the legislature addresses some of the law’s issues. The letter acknowledged that “legislative leadership has strongly encouraged the employer community to
Washington Governor Jay Inslee has clarified that, starting January 1, “employers will still be legally obligated to pay the full amount owed to state ESD [Employment Security Department] to begin the long-term care program” under the Washington Long-Term Services and Supports Act, until the legislature changes the law.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee has announced a pause in implementation of the Long-Term Services and Supports Act to give the state legislature time to refine the law.
In a statement on Friday, December 17, 2021, Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced that employers may wait to begin collecting premiums from employees for the new Washington Cares Act (WA Cares), while legislation is under consideration to formalize this collection pause. The governor does not have authority to formally relieve
On December 17, 2021, Washington Governor Jay Inslee, Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig, and House Speaker Laurie Jinkins released a joint statement announcing that the premium assessment under the Washington Cares Fund would be delayed. Employers had been set to collect premiums from Washington employees starting on January 1, 2022,
Not waiting for guidance from federal authorities, Washington’s Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) has issued emergency rules to implement two new state pandemic-readiness laws: Health Emergency Labor Standards Act (HELSA) (formerly, ESSB 5115; now, RCW 49.17.062-.064) and Voluntary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Usage (SSB 5254).
Following such states as California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Oregon, Washington’s Governor Jay Inslee has issued Proclamation 21-14.3 to require certain workers be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide proof of such vaccination.
In 2021, Washington established a long-term care benefit program for Washington workers called the WA Cares Fund. In short, the program implements a mandatory 0.58 percent payroll deduction on employee wages to create a state trust fund, which, beginning in 2025, will be used to fund certain long-term care costs
While Washington state reopened on June 30 with the new Washington Ready plan, under which most industries have returned to normal capacity and operations, this reopening has loosened, but not eliminated, COVID-19 safety and masking requirements for employees and customers.