As we previously reported, on October 6, the D.C. Council introduced the Universal Paid Leave Act of 2015 (the “Act”). If passed, the Act would provide D.C. employees with the most generous statutorily-mandated leave benefits in the country. Under the proposed law, qualified individuals would be eligible to receive up to 16 weeks of paid family and medical leave for certain qualifying events.

On December 2, the D.C. Council held its first public hearing to discuss the Act. There, opponents of the bill asserted that it would “kill D.C. jobs” and would “have severe adverse consequences to the city,” while supporters reasoned that D.C. businesses would benefit from employees who take leave and return as more productive and loyal workers.

D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson has now announced that the D.C. Council will hold two additional hearings on the proposed Act. The first will take place on Thursday, January 14, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. According to Chairman Mendelson, at that hearing the D.C. Council will hear testimony from both national experts and D.C. government witnesses with regard to the benefits and implications of the proposed Act.

The second hearing will take place on February 11, 2016 at 4:00 p.m. This hearing will be open to anyone who wishes to testify about the Act. In addition, the D.C. Council will accept written statements from the public which will be made part of the official record.