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Update on District of Columbia Paid Leave & Tax Credit for Employers

As we previously reported, due to an excess in the District of Columbia’s Universal Paid Leave (UPLA) fund, the number of weeks of paid leave available to eligible employees in the District of Columbia pursuant to the Universal Paid Leave Act (UPLA) will increase on October 1, 2022.

As part of the District of Columbia Council’s Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Support Act of 2022 passed on June 7, 2022, the amount of UPLA increased to 12 weeks of parental, family, and medical leave, which will become effective immediately upon the mayor’s approval. The following is an outline of the current amount of leave and the increased amounts of leave:

Current Leave Amount                               Leave Amount as of October 1

Parental Leave: 8 weeks                             Parental Leave: 12 weeks

Family Leave: 6 weeks                                 Family Leave: 12 weeks

Medical Leave: 6 weeks                              Medical Leave: 12 weeks

Prenatal Leave: 2 weeks                             Prenatal Leave: 2 weeks

The maximum amount of leave that can be taken within a 52-workweek period will increase from eight weeks to 12 weeks, regardless of the number of qualifying leave events in that 52-week period, with an exception when an employee takes both prenatal and parental leave. In the case of prenatal and parental leave, the employee can “stack” leave and receive a total leave time of up to 14 weeks. However, an employee may not receive any combination of prenatal leave and medical leave that exceeds the maximum allowed amount of 12 weeks.

Furthermore, as of July 1, 2022, due to the excess funding within the UPLA program, a reduction to the tax contribution for employers has taken effect. Specifically, the employer payroll contribution decreased from 0.62% to 0.26%. Contributions at the reduced rate are due by October 31, 2022 (for wages paid in the quarterly period of July 1, 2022 through September 30, 2022). The District may reevaluate and adjust the contribution rate in 2023.

Next Steps for Employers

D.C. employers should prepare to implement the expanded leave provision in anticipation of the October 1, 2022 effective date by reviewing and updating their leave policies to reflect the additional leave time. District employers are reminded that covered employees must receive notice the “District of Columbia Paid Family Leave Notice to Employees” on three occasions: upon hire, annually, and when the employer receives notice that an employee may need to request leave. Employers that are subject to this law are also required to post and maintain the notice, in a conspicuous place at all worksites.

Additional information on UPLA eligibility requirements, the claims process and employer notice requirments can be found on the DC Department of Employment Services website by clicking here. Employers with questions about compliance or coverage should consult with their legal counsel.

HR Works, headquartered in Upstate New York, is a human resource management outsourcing and consulting firm serving clients throughout the United States for over thirty years. HR Works provides scalable strategic human resource management and consulting services, including: affirmative action programs; benefits administration outsourcing; HRIS self-service technology; full-time, part-time and interim on-site HR managers; HR audits; legally reviewed employee handbooks and supervisor manuals; talent management and recruiting services; and training of managers and HR professionals.