The D.C. Council passed a paid family and medical leave law today, which will provide private sector workers in D.C. with wage replacement for up to eight weeks to bond with a new child, up to six weeks to care for a loved one with a serious health condition, and up to two weeks for the worker’s own serious health condition. The bill now awaits Mayor Muriel Bowser’s signature.
The Universal Paid Leave Act will ensure that covered workers no longer need to choose between economic security and caring for themselves or a family member. The program—the first new state paid medical leave system plan since the 1960s—will provide employer-funded wage replacement for those working in the private sector in D.C.
As A Better Balance recently highlighted in The Washington Blade, the program will especially benefit LGBTQ workers. The program defines parent using gender-neutral language and provides the eight weeks of bonding leave to parents of biological, foster, and adopted children. Additionally, workers may also take six weeks to care for family members, including domestic partners and same-sex spouses.
Congratulations to our partners at the D.C. Paid Family Leave Coalition who worked tirelessly to help make this program a reality! A Better Balance looks forward to working with our partners to help implement the law in the coming weeks and months.