Hearing on Paid Leave Legislation


Council Chairman Phil Mendelson announces a public hearing before the Committee of the Whole on Bill 22-130, the “Paid Leave Compensation Act of 2017,” Bill 22-133, the “Universal Paid Leave Compensation for Workers Amendment Act of 2017,” Bill 22-302, the “Large Employer Paid-Leave Compensation Act of 2017,” Bill 22-325, the “Universal Paid Leave Amendment Act of 2017,” and Bill 22-334, the “Universal Paid Leave Pay Structure Amendment Act of 2017.” The hearing will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 in Hearing Room 500, the Council Chambers, of the John A. Wilson Building.

On December 20, 2016, the Council adopted D.C. Law 21-264, the “Universal Paid Leave Amendment Act of 2016,” which establishes a District-run paid leave program for individuals employed in the District. Specifically, D.C. Law 21-264 provides for eight weeks of parental leave, six weeks of family leave, and two weeks of medical leave. Bills 22-130, 22-133, 22-325, and 22-334 provide different mechanisms for paying for the paid leave program and do not alter the number of weeks an individual would receive. Bill 22-302 would repeal D.C. Law 21-264 and only provide parental and family paid leave for those employed by a entity that has 25 or more employees. Notably, none of the bills change the wage replacement set forth in D.C. Law 21-264.

The stated purpose of Bill 22-130 is to require large employers – an entity with 50 or more employees or annual payroll of $3.5 million or more – to provide family, medical, and parental leave, while maintaing a District-run program for small employers and exempting businesses with fewer than five employees from any obligation to provide family, medical, or parental leave. To fund the District-run program, Bill 22-130 requires small businesses to pay a tax of 0.4% of its employees’ wages, while large employers would pay a 0.2% tax. The bill also establishes a Paid Leave Compensation Board and expands the definition of family under the “Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act of 2008.”

The stated purpose of Bill 22-133 is to require employers, except for those with fewer than 50 employees, to obtain insurance to cover family, medical, and parental leave and to pay a fee of 0.1% or less in order to fund a tax credit for small businesses. Small businesses may participate in the insurance program or may receive a tax credit if the cost to the small business to provide family, medical, and parental leave exceeds 0.62% of its employees’ wages. Bill 22-133 also establishes a Paid Leave Compensation Board and expands the definition of family under the “Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act of 2008.”

The stated purpose of Bill 22-302 is to repeal D.C. Law 21-264, the “Universal Paid Leave Amendment Act of 2016,” and replace it with an employer mandate for employers with 25 or more employees. Bill 22-302 eliminates the two weeks of medical leave provided for in D.C. Law 21-264. Instead, the bill increases the number of sick days an individual can accrue pursuant to the “Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act of 2008.” Additionally, Bill 22-302 creates a hardship exemption for employers who can demonstrate that they cannot feasibly provide family or parental leave, and it requires the Mayor to conduct a feasibility study with regard to the possibility of requiring paid leave of District employers with fewer than 25 employees.

The stated purpose of Bill 22-325 is to require covered employees to pay a fee of 0.42% of his or her wages into the Universal Paid Leave Implementation Fund. Subsequently an employer would pay a tax of 0.2% of its employees’ wages.

The stated purpose of Bill 22-334 is to require employers with more than 100 employees to provide family, medical, and parental leave to its employees but maintains a government-run paid leave program for businesses with a 100 or fewer employees. Additionally, it amends the tax rate paid by small employers and large employers to 0.54% and 0.15%, respectively, of their employees’ wages. Further, Bill 22-334 mirrors the enforcement mechanisms provided for in the “Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act of 2008,” and it explicitly authorizes third-party administration of the District-run program.

Those who wish to testify are asked to email the Committee of the Whole at
cow@dccouncil.us, or call Christina Setlow, Deputy Committee Director at (202) 724-4865, and to provide your name, address, telephone number, organizational affiliation and title (if any) by close of business Thursday, October 5, 2017. Persons wishing to testify are encouraged, but not required, to submit 15 copies of written testimony. If submitted by the close of business on October 5, 2017 the testimony will be distributed to Councilmembers before the hearing. Witnesses should limit their testimony to three minutes; if an individual requires more time, he or she must contact the Committee of the Whole or Ms. Setlow to arrange for more time to testify. Copies of the legislation can be obtained through the Legislative Services Division of the Secretary of the Council’s office or on http://lims.dccouncil.us.

If you are unable to testify at the hearing, written statements are encouraged and will be made a part of the official record. Written statements should be submitted to the Committee of the Whole, Council of the District of Columbia, Suite 410 of the John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20004. The record will close at 5:00 p.m. on October 24, 2017.