The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services (DOES) has published the long-awaited “Official Notice” detailing the pertinent provisions of the DC Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act (SSLA) of 2008 (Notice). Employers covered by the Act must post the Notice in a conspicuous location where it can be easily read by employees. Covered employers include any employer with at least one employee within the District of Columbia.
Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act
The SSLA requires employers in the District of Columbia to provide paid leave to eligible employees for absences occasioned by illness, stalking or domestic violence.
The amount of leave to be provided to eligible employees varies depending on the size of the company. Companies with at least 100 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. An employee’s accrued paid leave carries over annually, but the Act does not require that accrued leave be paid upon termination of employment.
Eligible employees include regular, temporary and part-time employees. To become eligible to access leave under the Act, an employee must work for the employer for one year and work at least 1,000 hours during the year. Employees may take leave for their own medical care or to aid or care for family members as defined by the Act.
Employers with offices and/or operations in DC should be sure to update their employee handbooks to reflect the SSLA leave provisions. Similarly, HR professionals should coordinate SSLA leave with any qualifying family and medical leave, whether under federal or DC law.
The Notice is available here. 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 Office of Wage-Hour within 60 days of the event giving rise to the complaint. If an employer fails to post the Notice, as required by the Act, the sixty-day period will be tolled for an indefinite period of time. There is no private right of action in the Act.