DC – New Paid Family and Medical Leave Law


On December 20, 2016, the District of Columbia Council approved the Universal Paid Leave Act of 2016, an expansive family and medical leave bill, but the bill is still subject to a possible mayoral veto and Congressional review. The bill guarantees eight weeks of paid time for new parents, six weeks of paid time to care for a family member who is experiencing a serious health condition, and two weeks of paid personal sick time. Companies will be required to pay a .62 percent payroll tax to fund the program. Only private sector workers are covered by the bill.

The mayor has expressed concerns about the bill and it is unclear if she will veto it. If she does so, the Council currently has the required two-thirds of votes to override her veto. The bill would then become an Act and be sent to Congress for approval – and it is unclear if the Republican-led Congress under a President Trump will approve any such Act. Assuming the bill goes into effect, the District will begin collecting the tax on July 1, 2019, and will begin paying benefits to employees on July 1, 2020.