New Washington laws to go into effect January 2019

Several new Washington laws will be put into effect with the start of the new year. 

Author: Gabriela Capestany 

A new round of Washington laws are set to go into effect after the start of the year.

Here are four prominent new laws to be aware of.

Washington will also start collecting premiums for paid leave. The new Paid Family and Medical Leave law (PFML) allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks paid leave for their own serious health condition or for family care, 16 weeks for combined personal health leave and family care, and two extra weeks for pregnancy complication. Workers can start collecting benefits in 2020.

The Washington State service animals law will address the misuse and misrepresentation of regular animals as service animals. It will change the definition of “service animal” and creates a civil penalty of $500 for the misrepresentation of a service animal.

Statewide minimum wage in Washington will increase to $12 after the start of the year. This minimum wage will apply to all jobs, but employees ages 14-15 may be paid 85 percent of minimum wage ($9.78).  I1433

People under 21 years old won’t be able to buy a semi-automatic rifle come January. The purchase age for those firearms will increase from 18 to 21 on January 1 after voters approved Initiative 1639 in November. Other parts of the initiative, which includes incentives for safe storage and new enhanced background checks for rifles that are similar to handguns, won’t go in effect until July.

RELATED: Washington gun shop changing inventory after voters pass I-1639