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Legal Update Article

Amount of Paid Leave Dramatically Increased Under D.C. Universal Paid Leave Law

Due to a surplus in the District of Columbia’s Universal Paid Leave Fund, the number of weeks of paid leave available to D.C. workers under D.C.’s Universal Paid Leave Act will significantly increase on July 1, 2022.

Currently, the law provides for a maximum of:

  • 8 workweeks of parental leave;
  • 6 workweeks of family leave;
  • 6 workweeks of medical leave; and
  • 2 workweeks of pre-natal leave.

Starting on July 1, these maximums will increase to:

  • 12 workweeks of parental leave;
  • 12 workweeks of family leave;
  • 12 workweeks of medical leave; and
  • 2 workweeks of pre-natal leave.

Once these new maximums take effect, there will be an overall cap of 12 weeks of Universal Paid Leave Act leave available to each eligible D.C. employee per year.

The D.C. City Council passed legislation in the fall of 2021 that was intended to gradually increase the number of weeks of paid leave available to employees who work in D.C. (For details, see our article, October Brings Changes to D.C. Universal Paid Leave Law and D.C. Family and Medical Leave Act.) Over a period of years, the amount of leave available to workers was expected to incrementally increase to these maximum levels, as long as there were sufficient funds in the Universal Paid Leave Fund to pay for that leave. These maximum levels of leave were reached more quickly than expected, however, due to a significant surplus in the Fund, as stated in a certification from the D.C. Chief Financial Officer dated March 1, 2022.

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.

Jackson Lewis attorneys are available to answer inquiries regarding this and other workplace developments.

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