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D.C. Issues Mandatory Poster under Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act

  • November 9, 2010

The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services (DOES) has issued its long-awaited poster under the D.C. Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act (SSLA).  The poster comes four months after the agency issued final rules under the D.C. paid leave law, which was passed in 2008. 

Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act

The Act requires D.C. employers to provide a fixed number of paid leave days per year for eligible employees facing certain personal and family issues, such as illness, stalking or domestic violence. 
Companies with at least 100 eligible employees must provide up to seven paid leave days per year.  Companies with 25-99 eligible employees must provide up to five days per year.  And companies with fewer than 24 eligible employees must provide up to three paid leave days per year. 

Employees accrue no leave until their first anniversary date, and only if they have worked at least 1,000 hours during the prior year. 

Regulations

Proposed regulations, finalized in the summer, had been pending since the end of 2008, while the agency reviewed several issues, including the scope of the Act’s “hardship exemption.”  The final regulations (available at http://www.does.dc.gov/does/frames.asp?doc=/does/lib/does/06182010_-_Accrued_Sick_and_Safe_Final_Rules.pdf), issued on June 18, 2010, however, do not address the hardship exemption.  Thus, every employer with at least one employee in D.C. must continue to comply with the statutory provision. 

The regulations detail when an employee is deemed to work in D.C., the notice and certification requirements employers may impose on employees taking leave under the Act, and the scope of prohibited acts, such as retaliation and interference with an employee’s use of protected leave. 

Poster

The poster (available at http://www.does.dc.gov/does/frames.asp?doc=/does/lib/does/info/ASSLAPoster_Final10_7_10.pdf), issued in October 2010, must be posted in all languages spoken by three percent or 500 of an employer’s District of Columbia employees, whichever is fewer. 

An employer who willfully fails to post the required notice can be assessed a civil penalty of $100 for each day, up to $500, for the violation.  The notice provides that any complaints arising under the SSLA must be filed with the DOES’s Office of wage/hour within 60 days of the event in the complaint.  An employer’s failure to post the notice will extend this date for an undetermined length of time.  There is no private right of action in the Act. 

Jackson Lewis attorneys are available to answer questions and provide compliance assistance with the Act and all other D.C. workplace laws.

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