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Employment Law Alert – District of Columbia Begins Administering Paid Family Leave

July 27, 2020

Effective July 1, 2020, eligible employees may take up to a total of 8 weeks of government-administered paid leave (consisting of partial wage replacement, subject to monetary cap) per year under the District of Columbia’s Paid Family Leave program (“DCPFL”) as follows:

  • Up to 8 weeks to bond with a new child
  • Up to 6 weeks to care for a family member with a serious health condition
  • Up to 2 weeks to care for the employee’s own serious health condition.

Employees are eligible for DCPFL if they (1) spend over 50% of their time working (or teleworking/telecommuting) in D.C. or (2) are self-employed, opted into DCPFLA, and work more than 50% of their time in D.C. They must be employed when they apply for the benefits. Temporary or seasonal workers are subject to additional specifications.

Upon the occurrence of a qualifying event, employees may file a claim for paid leave benefits with the District of Columbia Department of Employment Services. Retaliation against an employee for requesting or taking leave under this policy is strictly prohibited.

DCPFL requires employers to pay quarterly taxes, file reports and maintain certain records. Employers must display this notice in the workplace informing employees of their rights under DCPFL, and provide an electronic copy to remote employees. The notice must be distributed to employees annually, at the time of hire, and when the employer is made aware that DCPFL is needed.

Unlike FMLA and DCFMLA, DCPFL provides paid leave for parental bonding and care for an employee’s (or their family member’s) health condition. FMLA and DCFMLA provide unpaid job protection for these same situations. DCPFL benefits run concurrently with FMLA and DCFMLA. Employers can chose if their specific paid leave benefits run concurrently with DCPFL.

Note: DCPLA benefits are not available to employees who are quarantined but have not received an official diagnosis of COVID-19.

More information can be found on the DC Department of Employment Services (DOES) website as well as the DOES Office of Paid Family Leave website.

Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this Alert or would like to discuss this topic further.



The contents of this Alert are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions about this Alert, please contact the Shulman Rogers attorney with whom you regularly work or a member of the Shulman Rogers Employment and Labor Law Group.