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Washington DC set to Implement Paid Family Leave

Beginning January 1, 2020, employees who spend more than 50% of their time working in Washington DC will be eligible for leave annually for:

  • Up to 8 weeks in a year to bond with a child after birth, or after the placement of the child for adoption or foster care
  • Up to 6 weeks to care for a family member with a serious health condition
  • Up to 2 weeks for the employee’s own serious medical condition

Leave may be taken incrementally in one day increments.

The law applies to all employers with one or more employees in the Washington DC and who are required to pay unemployment insurance.  This means employers who have been issued a business license from the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs or have been otherwise licensed.

What are the employer’s responsibilities?

Beginning July 1, 2019, employers will begin collecting paid family leave contributions.  Employers are responsible for submitting a quarterly report and paying a quarterly payroll tax based on .62% of wages for each covered employee, in a similar fashion to the unemployment insurance tax.

Employers are also required to provide a notice to employees.  A model notice will be released by Washington DC prior to July 1, 2019.

How is paid leave calculated?

Paid leave benefits are calculated based on an eligible individual’s average weekly wage, using the total wages earned in the highest four out of five quarters immediately preceding the qualifying event, divided by 52.  The maximum weekly benefit amount is currently ,000.

Are employers able to opt out of the paid family leave benefit?

There are no exemptions for employers with their own sponsored paid leave benefits.  Employers are still required to contribute to the paid family leave program.  Employers can determine whether their sponsored paid leave benefits will run concurrently with the benefits provided through the District’s program.

For more and updated information, please see the employer FAQs, the employee FAQs and the Universal Paid Family Leave Amendment



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