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DC Council Approves Paid Leave Act

Wed, Dec 21, 2016

District Of Columbia

The DC Council voted yesterday to approve legislation that would provide paid family and medical leave for private sector workers. The measure was approved with a veto-proof margin of 9 to 4 votes in the face of vocal opposition from the Mayor and business community. 

The bill provides eight weeks of paid time off for new parents, six weeks for anyone taking family medical leave to care for an ailing family member, and two weeks of personal sick time. The legislation exempts federal government employees, as well as, employees working for the District government.

A new payroll tax for employers of 0.62 percent will be levied to pay for the new paid leave benefits which will be administered by DC.

Mayor Muriel Bowser issued a statement indicating that she will not sign the bill into law, however, she has not indicated if she will exercise her authority to veto the measure, which has the potential to be overridden given the 9 to 4 vote it received from the council. If Bowser chooses to not sign the law and not exercise her veto authority, the bill will still become law. congress will have a final say on the matter as well.

The legislation initially proposed more than a year ago called for 16 weeks of paid leave. Clearly concerns expressed by stakeholders such as the DC Chamber of Commerce, the hospitality industry, as well as the MD|DC Credit Union Association, made an impact on efforts to scale back the legislation from the original proposal.  

Association members with questions concerning Paid Leave in the District are encouraged to contact Glen Cooney, Vice President of Advocacy at gcooney@mddccua.org or 443-325-0775.