As of July 1, 2020, eligible employees who work in D.C. may take paid leave benefits for certain family and medical purposes under the District of Columbia’s Universal Paid Leave Amendment Act of 2016 (the “D.C. PFL” or “Program”). Due to a surplus in the District of Columbia’s Universal Paid Leave Fund (“PFL Fund”), the number of weeks of paid leave available to D.C. workers under D.C. PFL will increase on July 1, 2022 as follows:
|Current # of workweeks||Effective July 1, 2022|
|Pre-natal leave||2||2 (no change)|
In addition, the employer payroll tax used to fund this leave is being decreased from 0.62% to 0.26% as of July 1, 2022.
Brief Overview of D.C. PFL
Since July 1, 2019, covered D.C. employers have been required to contribute an amount equal to 0.62 percent (decreased to .26% on July 1, 2022) of the wages of each of their covered employees to the PFL Fund through the Employer’s Self-Service Portal. Please refer to our prior article, Washington D.C. Paid Family Leave Contributions begin, 7/1/19 and are due by 7/31/19 for more information about employer contributions and recordkeeping requirements.
The Program currently enables covered employees to take:
- Up to 8 weeks of paid time off within a 52-workweek period to bond with a newborn or a child placed for adoption, foster care, or in loco parentis.
- Up to 6 weeks to take care of a family member who has been diagnosed with a serious health condition.
- Up to 2 weeks for the employee’s own serious health condition. Benefits will not be paid to individuals who are quarantined but have not received an official diagnosis of COVID-19.
As noted above, these amounts increase effective July 1, 2022.
Any employer paying D.C. unemployment insurance (UI) taxes for one or more employees is covered by the Program. Employees whose wages are not reported to D.C. for UI are not covered. The leave program is administered by the Office of Paid Family Leave and is funded entirely by employer contributions that are submitted quarterly.
Full-time and part-time employees of a covered employer are eligible if they spend at least 50% of their work time in Washington, D.C. The Department of Employment Services released guidance for employers as it relates to the payment of contributions under the program stating that employees are covered if their work performed outside of D.C. consists of merely isolated transactions or is temporary, transitory, or incidental. Therefore, if employees are temporarily working remotely outside of D.C. due to COVID-19, they continue to be covered by the Program.
Notice Posting Requirements
Employers subject to D.C. PFL must provide employees notice of the Program at 4 instances:
- Post the physical poster (provided by the D.C. Department of Employment Services);
- Annually to all employees individually (in paper or electronic form);
- At the point of hire within the first 30 days; and
- At the time an employer becomes aware that PFL may be necessary (in paper or electronic form)
- Ensure leave policies and procedures are updated in light of the increased amount of D.C. PFL available to eligible employees effective July 1, 2022;
- Ensure payroll taxes are updated to reflect the decreased contribution as of July 1, 2022;
- Continue to provide required notice to employees at the specified intervals.