49.78.270  <<  49.78.280 >>   49.78.290

Employment protection. (Effective until December 31, 2019.)

(1)(a) Except as provided in (b) of this subsection, any employee who takes leave under RCW 49.78.220 for the intended purpose of the leave is entitled, on return from the leave:
(i) To be restored by the employer to the position of employment held by the employee when the leave commenced; or
(ii) To be restored to an equivalent position with equivalent employment benefits, pay, and other terms and conditions of employment at a workplace within twenty miles of the employee's workplace when leave commenced.
(b) The taking of leave under RCW 49.78.220 may not result in the loss of any employment benefits accrued before the date on which the leave commenced.
(c) Nothing in this section entitles any restored employee to:
(i) The accrual of any seniority or employment benefits during any period of leave; or
(ii) Any right, benefit, or position of employment other than any right, benefit, or position to which the employee would have been entitled had the employee not taken the leave.
(d) As a condition of restoration under (a) of this subsection for an employee who has taken leave for the employee's serious health condition, the employer may have a uniformly applied practice or policy that requires each such employee to receive certification from the health care provider of the employee that the employee is able to resume work, except that nothing in this subsection (1)(d) supersedes a valid local law or a collective bargaining agreement that governs the return to work of such employees.
(e) Nothing in this subsection (1) prohibits an employer from requiring an employee on leave to report periodically to the employer on the status and intention of the employee to return to work.
(2) An employer may deny restoration under subsection (1) of this section to any salaried employee who is among the highest paid ten percent of the employees employed by the employer within seventy-five miles of the facility at which the employee is employed if:
(a) Denial is necessary to prevent substantial and grievous economic injury to the operations of the employer;
(b) The employer notifies the employee of the intent of the employer to deny restoration on such basis at the time the employer determines that the injury would occur; and
(c) The leave has commenced and the employee elects not to return to employment after receiving the notice.
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