Paid family leave, stricter car seat rules among new laws taking effect Jan. 1

WASHINGTON – With a new year comes new laws across Washington state.

Beginning on January 1, 2020, the following news laws will take effect statewide:

The legal age to purchase cigarettes will jump to 21 next year in the state of Washington, but days before the law was to take effect, the same law took effect nationwide.

Smoke shops on tribal reservations are exempt from the new law.

Another change involves car seat laws. Starting Jan. 1, children who are shorter than 4 feet, 9 inches will need to sit in the back with a seat belt on top of a booster, regardless of their age.

The minimum wage is also going up to $13.50 statewide in 2020, with exceptions based on city laws and how many people a company employs.

    Employers can apply for a sub-minimum wage certificate in the following areas:


      People will also now have the right to take up to 12 to 18 weeks of paid family leave, so long as they’ve worked a minimum of 820 hours in a year.

      This can be for reasons including a serious illness of a qualifying family member, or a birth of a child.

        Learn more here.