On August 23, 2021, the District of Columbia Council enacted the Universal Paid Leave Emergency Amendment Act of 2021, which takes effect today. This new law amends the D.C. Universal Paid Leave Act, the D.C. Family Medical Leave Act, and the Paid Family Leave Act, which provide private sector employees in D.C. with benefits while they are on medical, prenatal, parental, and family care leave.
Previously, employees who work in D.C. could take up to eight weeks of parental leave. Starting today, however, employees may also take up to two workweeks of prenatal leave. This qualifying reason is distinct from the parental leave that was previously. Also under the previous laws, D.C. employees were entitled to two weeks of medical leave, and six weeks of family care leave (up to a maximum of eight workweeks of paid leave in a 52-workweek period). Starting today, the maximum duration of paid leave for individual medical leave will be increased to six workweeks. Additionally, while the maximum amount of paid leave will remain eight workweeks, this will be increased to ten workweeks if the individual takes both parental and prenatal leave.
The amendment also made the following changes:
- Previously, the Paid Family Leave Act required a one week waiting period before eligible workers could receive benefits. This requirement will be waived starting today, until the one-year mark after the COVID-19 public health emergency has ended.
- The Paid Family Leave Act is amended to allow retroactive benefits, as long as they are claimed within 30 days.
If you have questions about enacted the Universal Paid Leave Emergency Amendment Act of 2021, or any other area of employment law, contact Thatcher Law Firm at 301-441-1400. www.ThatcherLaw.com. Follow us on: