The Universal Paid Leave Act 2016

The District of Columbia recently passed the looming Universal Paid Leave Amendment Act (UPLAA). The Act amends the District of Columbia Family and Medical Leave Act (DCFMLA), the Office of Administrative Hearings Establishment Act and the Budget Support Act. The bill’s amendment that are of significance to your organization is to the DCFMLA which expanded the laws definition of family member to include Foster Child.

The UPLAA requires private sector employers, with one or more employees, in the District of Columbia to provide paid family and medical leave. The Act is effective July 2020 but will begin the employer payroll tax deduction of 0.62% in 2019. The bill has placed limitations on how much an employee on UPLAA can receive weekly – $1,000. Employees will request this paid leave through a portal that the Mayor of DC will create. The Mayor will approve or deny requests. Any paid leave request will run concurrently with any eligible Family Medical and Leave Act and DC Family Medical and Leave Act leave. According to the UPLAA:

  • Employees can receive up to eight paid weeks of leave for a qualifying parental event (i.e. new child) within a 52-week period;
  • Employees can receive up to six paid weeks of leave for a qualifying family event (i.e. sick family member) within a 52-week period; and
  • Employees can receive up to two paid weeks of leave for a qualifying medical leave event (i.e. employee’s health) within a 52-week period.

DC employers with less than 70 employees may be eligible to receive a tax credit per employee each year. Employers with less than 50 employees who can successfully demonstrate a financial hardship in providing this benefit may qualify to receive assistance from the Fund (an account established for this purpose).

HRinMotion, LLC will keep your organization up-to-date on this bill and how to comply with it as we approach the effective date.

Written by: Kristy Brown, MSHRM, SHRM-CP HR Compliance Officer