Submitted by Washington State Governor’s Office

Gov. Jay Inslee issued a statement December 23 on his authority to make changes to the long-term care premiums set to begin collections on January 1.

“There seems to be some inaccurate reporting and misinformation about the Legislature’s long-term care bill, which under the law requires employers to withhold money from employee wages.

“Only the Legislature has the authority to eliminate the requirement that employers pay a premium based on withholding from an employee’s wages at this time. The Legislature has committed to changing the law in January 2022, including delaying the premium collection timelines.

“As I stated clearly earlier this week, I do have the ability to order the state Employment Security Department to refrain from collecting from those premiums from employers at this time, and I have done that.

“As an employer, the state of Washington is following the law and will have to begin collecting money from state employee paychecks as of January 1st. We know that many other private employers are doing the same, and others are hoping that the Legislature will change the law. However, if the Legislature fails to do so, employers will still be legally obligated to pay the full amount owed to state ESD to begin the long-term care program.

“The Legislature will have an opportunity to fix their bill starting on January 10 when they convene for the session. It is my hope that they will do that quickly in order to provide clarity to employees and employers. I have considerable confidence that the Legislature will fix this problem.”

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