Yesterday (December 20, 2016), the District of Columbia Council passed a bill that would create one of the country’s most generous paid family leave programs. If it becomes law, the Universal Paid Leave Amendment Act of 2016 (the “Act”) will provide all full and part time private sector workers in Washington, D.C. with eight weeks of paid leave to care for a new child, six weeks of leave to care for a sick family member, and two weeks for a personal illness.
To qualify, a worker need only be employed by a private employer in D.C., and residents of Virginia and Maryland, among other states, with jobs in D.C. are eligible. The program will reportedly be funded by a new payroll tax of 0.62%.
The Act now moves to Mayor Muriel Bowser for her signature. Mayor Bowser has expressed concerns about the Act, and it is unclear whether she will veto it. Even if she does, the Act passed with enough support to override a veto. Before the bill becomes law it must also be sent to Congress for approval.