Universal Paid Leave Guidance

The D.C. Department of Employment Services (DOES) has published guidance on the Universal Paid Leave (UPL) Act in the form of two FAQs that are divided into employer and employee questions. As a reminder, the new law will provide employees with paid leave beginning July 1, 2020. The leave is administered by DOES, but is funded by employers who will contribute 0.62 percent of payroll starting July 1, 2019. Eligible employees will be entitled to up to:

  • Eight weeks for parental leave (new child)
  • Six weeks for family leave (to care for a family member with a serious health condition)
  • Two weeks for medical leave (employee’s own serious health condition)

The employee FAQ clarifies the following issues:

  • Employees will be eligible for UPL if they spend 50 percent of their work time for that employer in D.C. during some or all of the previous 52 weeks. This includes those who telework/telecommute, temporary employees and seasonal employees.
  • UPL may be taken intermittently in one-day increments.

The employer FAQ clarifies the following issues:

  • Businesses of any size performing services in D.C. that also pay unemployment taxes for employees will be required to pay quarterly UPL taxes.
  • There is no exemption for employers who currently provide some sort of paid leave for employees. The employer may choose to coordinate benefit payments during the period where an employee is eligible for both, but an employee’s UPL benefits will not be reduced or eliminated by the receipt of paid leave benefits from an employer.

DOES will be providing a notice that will need to be posted in the workplace. They have already provided a calculator and a chart to assist employees in estimating paid weekly benefits. Lastly, a chart comparing the provisions of federal FMLA, DC FMLA, DC UPL (also called Paid Family Leave or PFL) and Accrued Sick and Safe Leave is also available.

D.C. Universal Paid Leave, Employee FAQ »
D.C. Universal Paid Leave, Employer FAQ »