Some DC workers see a big jump in paid family leave

Starting Saturday, some D.C. workers could be eligible for several more weeks of family leave.

Hundreds of thousands of private sector employees will get a jump from eight weeks of paid family leave to 12 weeks per year and D.C. government employees are likely to join them.

The increased paid leave not only applies to parental leave but also if you are dealing with health issues or are taking care of a sick family member.

Previously, private sector employees could get six weeks of benefits for a serious medical condition, six weeks of benefits for caregiving and eight weeks of benefits for caring for a newborn. Maximum benefits are just over $1,000 a week depending on the employee’s average weekly wage.

Private workers are seeing the jump in benefits after a surplus in the D.C. Paid Family Leave program which is funded by payroll taxes.  

The surplus was large enough to also cut employer payroll taxes by over half, from .62% to .26%.

To compete with the private sector, a new bill passed its first reading. It would hike up city employees’ leave. The additional leave actually begins in 2023 but employees can get retroactive pay for files starting on Oct. 1.

The weeks can be used in any combination according to the new bill. For example a D.C. government employee could take two weeks for medical leave, six weeks for parental leave, and four weeks for caregiving for a family member during a 12-month period.

The bill also allows two weeks of prenatal leave.

It will see a second vote on Oct. 4 before it is sent to the Mayor and Congress.

Luke Lukert

Since joining WTOP Luke Lukert has held just about every job in the newsroom from producer to web writer and now he works as a full-time reporter. He is an avid fan of UGA football. Go Dawgs!

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