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Legal Update Article

D.C. Employees to Get Paid Leave for COVID-19 Vaccines Well into 2022

D.C.’s new “COVID Vaccination Leave Temporary Amendment Act of 2021” (Temporary Act) will extend employees’ entitlement to paid time off for both COVID-19 vaccination and recovery from any side effects well into 2022.

This temporary legislation signed by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on December 22, 2021, substantively mirrors the COVID Vaccination Leave Emergency Amendment Act of 2021, which requires D.C. employers to extend paid leave to an employee for an absence from work related to COVID-19 vaccination.

Although published in the DC Register, the temporary legislation is in a 30-day congressional review period under the District of Columbia Home Rule Act. The anticipated effective date is February 18, 2022. Once approved by Congress, the temporary legislation will expire after 225 days. The 225 days will allow sufficient time for permanent legislation to be enacted.

As this legislation has been enacted as temporary law, it is likely the requirements of this legislation will remain for some time. It might become permanently enacted following this temporary measure. Accordingly, D.C. employers should immediately ensure their policies and practices comply with the Temporary Act.

If you have questions about your compliance obligations under applicable federal or state laws, or need assistance with updating your policies and practices to ensure compliance with paid leave amendments, please reach out to the Jackson Lewis attorney with whom you often work, or any member of our Workplace Safety and Health Practice Group, our Disability, Leave and Health Management Practice Group, or our COVID-19 team.

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