DC poised to enforce paid leave

Some Washington, D.C., foodservice operators may soon be required to provide staff with paid leave, as the city council on Tuesday passed one of the most extensive paid leave plans in the nation.

Barring a veto by Mayor Muriel Bowser, the measure mandates that all private sector employers in the district offer workers eight weeks of parental time off and six weeks to care for a sick relative.

While operators will not directly compensate workers—who will be paid 90% of their wages through a government-run insurance program—they will be hit with a 0.62% increase to employer payroll taxes to fund the cost of the bill, estimated at $250 million.

D.C.’s Universal Paid Leave Amendment Act of 2016 follows New York state’s and San Francisco’s robust family leave polices passed in April. New York offers parents 12 weeks of time off with pay, and San Francisco workers receive 100% of their wages for six weeks.

A new district agency will oversee the program, which is set to go into effect in 2020.


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