Leave administrator working with client

District of Columbia

The DC Paid Family Leave (Universal Paid Leave Act), the income replacement program within the District, has been live since 2020. The DC Family and Medical Leave Act (DC FMLA), which is the job-protected leave law in DC, has been live since the 90s.

DC Paid Family Leave (Universal Paid Leave Act) 

What is the Update?

The DC PFL program will reduce its contribution rate from 0.62% to 0.26% on July 1, 2022. DC is a fully employer-funded benefit.

There were some further changes to the DC PFL program that were scheduled for July 1, 2022, but these changes have been postponed, until October 1, 2022. The following changes will now take place, effective October 1, 2022:

Parental Leave benefits are currently 8 weeks in duration, but are increasing from October 1, 2022 to 12 weeks.

Family Care Leave benefits are currently 6 weeks, and are increasing to 12 weeks.

Medical Leave benefits are currently 6 weeks, and are increasing to 12 weeks.

Prenatal Leave benefits benefits will remain at the current duration of 2 weeks.

Combined leave benefits – at the present day, employees may take a maximum of 8 weeks of benefits in a 52-week period between all leave types. Pregnant employees are eligible for 2 weeks of prenatal leave while pregnant and 8 weeks of parental leave after giving birth, for a maximum of 10 weeks. Effective October 1, 2022, employees may take a maximum of 12 weeks of benefits in a 52-week period between all leave types. Pregnant employees will be eligible for 2 weeks of prenatal leave while pregnant and 12 weeks of parental leave after giving birth, for a maximum of 14 weeks.

The 1 week waiting period for DC PFL benefits is currently waived (a temporary measure). However, the waiting period will be permanently removed effective July 25, 2022.

Further, going forward, insurers may not reduce or offset the benefits that are available to eligible employees under a temporary or short-term disability policy based on benefits provided under the act. This was a temporary requirement which was expected to be in place until March 11, 2022, but has now become a permanent fixture in the law. Employers with a self-insured short term disability program are exempt and may continue to offset STD benefits by DC PFL.

Handbook/Policy Updates

Updates to your company handbook may need to be made if you include District of Columbia specific income replacement benefits information.

 

Notice Requirements

Employers are required to notify employees annually regarding DC PFL and display the required poster in the workplace. The poster may be found here: https://does.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/does/publication/attachments/2021%20OPFL%20Employee%20Worksite%20Notice_2.pdf

Further, considering the permanent changes scheduled to occur to the DC PFL program from October 2022 (see the above), it is expected that there will be an updated DC PFL poster published by the district. We will share this poster with our clients once published (likely to be available on or around October 1, 2022).

Larkin Action

The Larkin Company has updated leave packets to include the updated information under DC PFL.

Ensure you are offsetting any salary continuation/company top-up pay aligned with the new maximum weekly benefit rate and new temporary duration of benefits, where applicable.  The Larkin Company will adjust offsets for any top-up (leave of absence pay) calculations or STD, accordingly, if we handle these services for you.

Further Company Considerations 

We will provide any updates concerning the changes scheduled for October 1, 2022. 

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