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 job protected leave law in DC, the DC Family and Medical Leave Act (DC FMLA), has been live since the 90s.

DC Paid Family Leave (Universal Paid Leave Act) and DC Family and Medical Leave Act (DC FMLA)

What is the Update?


For claims between October 1, 2021, through October 1, 2022 (temporary update), the District of Columbia has amended its Universal Paid Leave Act (DC PFL) to allow for up to 6 weeks (was previously 2 weeks) of paid medical leave benefits in a 52-work week period for an eligible employee with a serious health condition. Additionally, the amended law provides two weeks of qualifying prenatal (prenatal medical care) leave. Parental and family care leaves will still provide up to eight and six weeks, respectively, in a 52-week period, and employees may take a maximum of eight weeks of benefits in a 52-week period between all leave types. There is one exception – 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. 

Also, beginning October 1, 2021, the one-week waiting period will be removed for up to one year following the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Further, 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. Employers with a self-insured short term disability program are exempt.  This requirement is expected to be in place until at least March 11, 2022 (we will continue to monitor the situation). 

The maximum weekly benefit has increased from $1,000 to $1,009 for claims that commence on or after September 26, 2021.


With regards to DC FMLA, the job protected leave law, for employees to qualify for the leave, employees need to have 12 months of “consecutive” service with the company in 2021. The service no longer needs to be “consecutive”, effective 2022.  Employees still need to work for 1000 hours prior to their leave start date. When it comes to COVID-19-related leave, employees only need to be employed for 30 days prior to their leave request. 

Handbook/Policy Updates

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

You may need to update that the “consecutive hours requirement” is no longer necessary for DC FMLA. DC FMLA information is required to be in all DC employee handbooks.

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 (scroll to the bottom and click page 2 to download “Notice to Employees 2021”).

Employers are required to display a workplace poster for DC FMLA. We are expecting the current poster to update, to state that employee service requirements do need to be consecutive. We will provide an updated notice to our clients when it is released.

Larkin Action

The Larkin Company will be updating 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 


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The Larkin Company is providing this information for general informational purposes and as a courtesy only. All information is provided in good faith and based on readily available information from various sources. We have taken reasonable steps to ensure that the information provided and any accompanying resources are accurate and provide valuable information. However we make no representation or warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability or completeness of any information provided in the document. 

The information on this website does not contain, nor should it be construed or substituted for legal advice.  Accordingly, before taking any actions based upon such information provided herein, we encourage you to consult with the appropriate professionals. The Larkin Company does not provide legal advice of any kind. The use or reliance of any information contained in this is solely at your own risk. Neither the Larkin Company nor any of its agents or employees shall be held liable or responsible for any inaccuracy, errors or omissions contained herein or for any damage you may suffer as a result of failing to seek competent legal advice from a licensed attorney. 

Updated: 12/10/21