Washington’s new paid family leave program will hit small business owners hard.
The 2007 law was designed to offer paid time off for five weeks, but lawmakers were unable to compromise on a way to pay for the plan, according to the Seattle Times.
The new plan, strongly opposed by NFIB/Washington, will be paid into by both employers and employees based on a percentage of the employee’s wage and the state’s weekly average wage. Employers with less than 50 employees are exempt from paying the employer section of premiums, and self-employed workers only pay the employee portion.
Representative Cary Condotta said that on its own, the plan is good, but combined with recent minimum wage hikes and additional increases, the burden will disproportionately affect small business.
“On it’s own principles, it’s a good idea,” Condotta said according to the Seattle Times. “The problem is when you combine it with everything else.”
Estimates for the plan suggest that 63 percent of premiums will be paid by employees, and the other 37 percent paid by employers. The plan passed the House with a 65-29 vote, and the Senate with a 37-12 vote.