Effective, July 1, 2020, your employer is subject to the District of Columbia’s Paid Family Leave law, which allows covered employees to receive paid time off for qualifying parental, family, and medical events. For more information about Paid Family Leave, please visit the Office of Paid Family Leave’s website at dcpaidfamilyleave.dc.gov.
In order to receive benefits under the Paid Family Leave program, you must have worked for an employer in DC before you experienced a covered event. Your employer should have reported your wages to the Department of Employment Services and paid taxes based on the wages they paid to you. To find out if you are a covered worker, you can ask your employer or contact the Office of Paid Family Leave.
There are three (3) kinds of events for which you may be eligible for Paid Family Leave benefits. Each kind of leave has its own eligibility rules and its own limit on the length of time you can receive benefits in a year. No matter how many different types of leave you may take in a year, you may receive no more than 8 weeks of Paid Family Leave benefits in a year. The three types of leave for which you may receive benefits are:
- Parental leave- receive benefits to bond with a new child for up to 8 weeks in a year;
- Family leave- receive benefits to care for a family member for up to 6 weeks in a year; and
- Medical leave- receive benefits for your own serious health condition for up to 2 weeks in a year.
Applying for Benefits
If you have experienced an event that may qualify for parental, family, or medical leave benefits, you can learn more about applying for benefits with the Office of Paid Family Leave at dcpaidfamilyleave.dc.gov.
Paid Family Leave benefits are based on the wages your employer paid to you and reported to the Department of Employment Services. If you believe your wages were reported incorrectly, you have the right to provide proof of your correct wages. Effective July 1, 2020 through October 1, 2021, the maximum weekly benefit amount is $1,000.
The Paid Family Leave program does not provide job protection to you when you take leave and receive Paid Family Leave benefits. However, you may be protected against actions taken by your employer that are harmful to you if those actions were taken because you applied for or claimed Paid Family Leave benefits. When these harmful actions were taken because you applied for or claimed Paid Family Leave benefits, they are known as “retaliation.” IF you believe you have been retaliated against, you may file a complaint with the DC Office of Human Rights (OHR), which receives complaints at the following web address: www.ohr.dc.gov.
The DC Paid Family Leave FAQ can be found here.