DC Passes One of Country’s Most Generous Paid Leave Laws

On April 7, 2017, Washington, DC passed one of the more robust paid parental leave laws in the nation. In doing so, it joins a growing number of cities and states, including San Francisco and New York, to pass legislation aimed at increasing paid leave to employees. Only 12% of American workers are offered paid leave through their employers.

Summary of the law
The Act, which becomes effective on July 1, 2020, provides covered employees with:

  • Up to 8 weeks of paid parental leave, which may be taken within one year following (1) birth of a child, (2) placement of a child for adoption or foster care, or (3) placement of a child where the eligible individual legally assumes and discharges parental responsibility.
  • Up to 6 weeks of paid family leave for employees to provide “care or companionship” to a family member who has a diagnosis or occurrence of a serious health condition.
  • Up to 2 weeks of paid medical leave for the diagnosis or occurrence of the employee’s own serious health condition.

To qualify for family or medical leave, the employee must demonstrate the presence of a “serious health condition,” which includes 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 other competent individual.

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