A federal court in the state of Washington has dismissed a class action lawsuit challenging a long-term care benefit program known as Washington Cares Fund. The program called for an employee payroll tax of .58% of total pay per payroll beginning this past January 1, but it also gave employees the option to opt-out of the program. Back in January, Governor Joy Inslee signed legislation delaying the start of the WA Cares Fund until 2023 in order to give the legislature additional time to make some changes to the program and correct some policy problems with the program. The WA Cares Fund was challenged by a number of businesses as well as six individuals back in November 2021 on the grounds that it violated the Equal Protection clause of the U.S. Constitution as well as the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act. U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Zilly ruled that the premium required constituted a tax and that as such, it could not be correctly challenged in federal court rather that “[A]ny challenge to WA Cares must be brought in state court.” The legal questions remain about the program as well as additional questions as to its financial sustainability in that over 470,000 workers – 13% of the state workforce – have already opted out of the program!