HR Alert

DC Passes Law to Provide Benefits During Qualifying Leave

Law Expected to Take Effect After Period of Congressional Review

The District of Columbia has passed the "Universal Paid Leave Amendment Act of 2016" to provide benefits to employees during qualifying leave. Highlights of the law are presented below.

Qualifying Leave and Duration of Benefits
Upon the occurrence of a qualifying medical, family, or parental leave event, the new law allows an eligible individual to file a claim for benefits to be paid under the law. The law defines these leave events as follows:

  • "Qualifying medical leave" means paid leave for up to a maximum of 2 workweeks within a 52-workweek period that an eligible individual may take following the occurrence of a qualifying medical leave event (i.e., the diagnosis or occurrence of a serious health condition of an eligible individual).
  • "Qualifying family leave" means paid leave for up to a maximum amount of 6 workweeks within a 52-workweek period that an eligible individual may take in order to provide care or companionship to a family member because of the occurrence of a qualifying family leave event (i.e., the diagnosis or occurrence of a serious health condition of a family member of an eligible individual).
  • "Qualifying parental leave" means paid leave for up to a maximum of 8 workweeks within a 52-workweek period that an eligible individual may take within one year of the occurrence of a qualifying parental leave event (i.e., an event--including bonding--associated with certain things such as the birth of a child of an eligible individual).

Employer Notice Requirements
The Mayor is expected to prescribe and provide to covered employers a notice explaining certain provisions in the law. Once the notice is prescribed and provided, each covered employer must:

  • "Qualifying medical leave" means paid leave for up to a maximum of 2 workweeks within a 52-workweek period that an eligible individual may take following the occurrence of a qualifying medical leave event (i.e., the diagnosis or occurrence of a serious health condition of an eligible individual).
  • "Qualifying family leave" means paid leave for up to a maximum amount of 6 workweeks within a 52-workweek period that an eligible individual may take in order to provide care or companionship to a family member because of the occurrence of a qualifying family leave event (i.e., the diagnosis or occurrence of a serious health condition of a family member of an eligible individual).
  • "Qualifying parental leave" means paid leave for up to a maximum of 8 workweeks within a 52-workweek period that an eligible individual may take within one year of the occurrence of a qualifying parental leave event (i.e., an event--including bonding--associated with certain things such as the birth of a child of an eligible individual).

Contributions and Payments
The law requires a covered employer to generally contribute an amount equal to 0.62% of the wages of each of its covered employees to the Universal Paid Leave Implementation Fund in a manner prescribed by the Mayor. By July 1, 2019, the Mayor is expected to begin to collect contributions to the Universal Paid Leave Implementation Fund from covered employers. By July 1, 2020, the Mayor is expected to commence the payment of paid-leave benefits provided for in the law.

The law is expected to take effect following a period of congressional review and publication in the District of Columbia Register.

Click here to read the text of the law, which contains additional information.


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