Global Compliance Desk – District of Columbia

D.C Paid Leave Benefits To Take Effect

On February 17, 2017, D.C. passed the Universal Paid Leave Amendment Act of 2018. Effective July 1, 2020, the law provides the certain government-administered paid leave to D.C. employees.

Covered Employee 

Means an employee who spends 50% of work time for the covered employer working in D.C. or whose employment for the covered employer is based in D.C and who regularly spends a substantial amount of work in D.C. and not more than 50% of work time for that covered employer in another jurisdiction.

Covered Employer 

A covered employer is any individual, partnership, general contractor, subcontractor, association, corporation, business trust, or any group of persons who directly or indirectly or through an agent or any other person, including through the services of temporary services or staffing agency or similar entity, employs or exercises control over the wages, hours, or working conditions of an employee. A covered employer is also a self-employed individual who has opted into the paid-leave program.

Types of Paid Leave Benefits 

Qualifying Family Leave

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 for the serious health conditions. 

Qualifying Medical Leave 

Paid leaves for up to a maximum of 2 workweeks within a 52-workweek period that an eligible employee may take for the employee’s own serious health condition. Serious health condition means a physical or mental illness, injury, or impairment that requires inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential health care facility, or continuing treatment or supervision at home by a health care provider or another competent individual. 

Qualifying Parental Leave 

Paid leave for up to a maximum of 8 workweeks within a 52-workweek period of leave for the birth of a child, placement of a child for adoption, or assumption of legal guardianship of a child.

Notification Requirement 

  • In the case of foreseeable leave, the employee should inform as early as possible or at least 10 days before the paid leave.
  • In the case of unforeseeable leave, the employer must be informed before the start of the work shift, for which paid leave is being used.
  • In the case of an emergency, the eligible individual, or another individual on behalf of the eligible individual, should notify the employer, either orally or in writing, within 48 hours of the emergency occurring.

Notice and Posting Requirement

An employer is required to provide information to its employees about the paid leave benefit available at the time of hiring,  annually, and when the requirement of leave arises. Employers should also post and maintain the notice in a conspicuous place in English and in all languages in which the government authority has published the notice.

Violation

  • A covered employer who violates this notice requirement will be fined with a penalty not exceeding $100 for each covered employee to whom individual notice was not delivered.
  • And $100 for each day that the covered employer fails to post the notice in a conspicuous place. 

Interaction with Other Laws

Any period of paid leave used under the Act will run concurrently with, not in addition to, any leave to which an employee is entitled under either the FMLA or the DC FMLA.  In addition, the Act will not give any job protection rights beyond those previously assured by the FMLA or DC FMLA.

An employee’s eligibility for paid leave under the Act is in addition to, and not in lieu of paid sick leave required by the DC Sick and Safe Leave Act of 2008.

Shreya Bhattacharya
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shreya Bhattacharya
A labor and employment lawyer at Replicon who specializes in global compliance. Replicon provides award-winning products that make it easy to manage your workforce. Replicon is an industry leader in global compliance and has a dedicated team which pro-actively monitors international labor regulations for ensuring proper adherence with specific country rule requirements.
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