D.C.'s Generous Paid Family Leave Law Heads to Congress for Approval

February 17, 2017

The District will soon offer the most generous paid family and medical leave in the country after Mayor Muriel Bowser on Thursday declined to veto legislation that was approved by the D.C. Council in December.

Miss Bowser had been against the measure, which she said benefited out-of-state residents more than those living in the city. But the council passed the measure with a veto-proof majority and the mayor decided to let the bill become law without her signature. The law is still subject to a 30-day congressional review period.

The Universal Paid Leave Amendment Act of 2016 will provide eight weeks of leave for caring for a newborn or newly adopted child, six weeks for tending to a sick relative and two weeks for taking care of personal medical needs.

The program applies to any worker employed by a private business in the District. Those who live in the city, but are employed elsewhere are not covered.

In a letter to the Council provided to The Washington Times Wednesday night, Miss Bowser, a Democrat, outlined her “grave” concerns. She said she supports paid leave in general, but worries that law will be too expensive for the city and burdensome on local businesses.

She said the program “is not truly universal because it does not cover D.C. residents who work outside of the city or who work for the federal government.”

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