DC Proposed Legislation on Universal Leave: 16 Weeks Paid

DC Proposed Legislation on Universal Leave: 16 Weeks Paid

DC Council LogoThe Washington DC Council has proposed legislation that would provide 16 weeks paid family and medical leave to replace the current DC FMLA unpaid leave. The proposed bill would apply to all District of Columbia residents, and those employed in the District. This proposed legislation stems from the Universal Paid Leave Act of 2015, which amends the DC Family Leave Act.


The PROPOSED bill would provide up to 16 weeks of paid family and medical leave every 24 months for certain qualifying life events.

Qualifying Life Events Defined

  • bonding with a new child (biological or adopted)
  • recuperating from a military deployment
  • caring for an ill family member

Who Pays and How Much?

  • Non-federal employees must pay a new tax into a city-managed Fund. The new tax is based on a percentage of the employees’ salary.

DC 16 Week Tax to Fund

This chart is taken from page 12 of the Universal Paid Leave Act of 2015

  • DC residents who work outside of the District, or are a federal employee would also contribute to the fund based on a percentage of their salary.
  • Self-employed individuals residing in the District may opt out of the Fund.

How Does this Affect Employers?

  • If this legislation passes – DC, MD and VA employers must review and update their current leave policies.
  • VA and MD employers, who employ DC residents, must consider the creation of two types of leave policies;
    1. Unpaid or partially paid leave for DC residents (who have access to the Fund)
    2. Paid leave policies for other employees who do not fall into the above categories.
  • Employers who offer short-term disability insurance are not exempt from coverage.

Federal vs. the District of Columbia Family and Medical Leave Laws

Fed DC FM Leave Laws 16 Week Paid Leave

Click on the image to be taken to the DOL website for the full size chart

More on this Proposed Legislation

The National Law Review has also posted an excellent article on this proposed bill.


Questions? Let’s Talk.

The Employee Benefits Experts at FosterThomas HR are here to help with any questions you might have regarding this proposed legislation. We will be monitoring this bill to see how it may affect our clients. We invite you to bookmark our HR Blog to ensure that you don’t miss out on any important updates.



About the Author

FosterThomas is a leading professional services company that provides solutions in the areas of Human Resources Consulting and Outsourcing, HR Staffing, Outsourced Recruiting, Employee Benefits Brokerage, Payroll Implementation and Services, HR for Government Contractors, Business Insurance, HR Compliance and Risk Management. We help organizations by providing solutions designed with a focus on cost containment strategies and increasing HR efficiency. FosterThomas HR Consulting was established in 1993 with offices in Annapolis, Maryland (Corporate), McLean, Virginia and Raleigh, North Carolina. Today, FosterThomas occupies a unique position as a full service provider of HR services.

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