February 25, 2020

February 24, 2020

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D.C. One Step Closer To Providing Employees Up To 8 Weeks Of Paid Leave

As we previously reported, in December 2016 the D.C. Council passed the Universal Paid Leave Amendment Act of 2016 (the “Act”).  If it becomes law, the Act will provide all full and part time private sector workers in D.C. with eight (8) weeks of paid leave to care for a new child, six (6) weeks of leave to care for a sick family member, and two (2) weeks for a personal illness.  The new benefit would be funded by a new payroll tax of 0.62% imposed on employers.  If the Act ultimately becomes law, D.C. employers would begin paying this new tax by July 1, 2019, and employees would be able to access the new benefit beginning July 1, 2020.

On February 15, 2017, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced in a letter sent to D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson that she would neither sign nor veto the Act.  In her letter, Mayor Bowser noted several “grave concerns about this legislation,” including that it:

  • Represents a significant tax increase;

  • Establishes one of the largest government agencies in D.C. for a program where non-D.C. residents are expected to receive two-thirds of the program’s benefits; and

  • Withholds the benefit until 2020.

Mayor Bowser urged the D.C. Council to develop “ways to overcome the[se] very significant deficiencies.”

The Act will now be submitted to Congress for review for a period of 30 legislative days before becoming law. The Act will become law unless, during that review period, Congress overturns the Act via a joint resolution which is signed by the President.

© 2020 Proskauer Rose LLP.


About this Author

Guy Brenner, Labor Attorney, Proskauer Rose, arbitration proceedings Lawyer

Guy Brenner is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-head of the Non-Compete & Trade Secrets Group. He has extensive experience representing employers in both single-plaintiff and class action matters, as well as in arbitration proceedings. He also regularly assists federal government contractors with the many special employment-related compliance challenges they face.

Guy represents employers in all aspects of employment and labor litigation and counseling, with an emphasis on non-compete and trade secrets issues,...


Ryan H. Hutzler is a law clerk in the Labor & Employment Law Department.

Ryan is a 2015 graduate, with honors, of The George Washington University Law School, where he was on The George Washington Law Review and Moot Court Board. He was the 2014 recipient of the New York State Bar Association’s Albert S. Pergam International Law Writing Competition Award. Ryan was a Proskauer summer associate in 2014 and clerked with the firm throughout his fourth year of law school, working with the labor and employment team in Washington, D.C.