As we previously reported, the Universal Paid Leave Amendment Act of 2016 will provide Washington, DC employees with paid leave for several reasons, including:

  • Up to eight weeks of paid parental leave to bond with a new child;
  • Up to six weeks of paid family leave to care for a covered family member with a serious health condition; and
  • Up to two weeks of paid medical leave to care for the employee’s own serious health condition.

The paid leave benefits will be funded by a 0.62 percent quarterly payroll tax on employees’ total wages, which the District of Columbia will begin collecting on July 1, 2019. Although the tax is calculated based on employees’ quarterly wages, the cost cannot be deducted from employee pay.

On July 1, employers must submit wage reports (Form UC-30) to cover both unemployment insurance and paid leave requirements. These reports are based on the wage tracking that employers must conduct on covered employees between April 1, 2019 and June 30, 2019. If an employer pays unemployment insurance tax on an employee for a quarter, then the employee will automatically be presumed to be a covered employee for paid leave.

Employers have until July 31, 2019 to pay the paid leave tax. Employers who fail to make contributions by this deadline will be assessed an interest rate of 1.5% per month until the contributions are made. If contributions are not paid, or wage reports are not filed on or before the first day of the second month following the close of the calendar quarters for which they are due, an added penalty of $100 or 10% of the amount due (whichever is higher) will be assessed.

In addition to tracking employee wages and making quarterly tax payments, employers also are required to post a notice about PFL in a conspicuous place in the workplace, and provide such notice to all employees upon hire and annually thereafter. Employers must also provide this notice at the time it becomes aware that the leave is needed, though employees may not begin using paid leave until July 1, 2020. An employer who fails to provide notice in accordance with the law will be subject to civil penalties, not to exceed $100 for each covered employee to whom individual notice was not delivered and $100 for each day that the employer fails to post notice in a conspicuous place.

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Photo of Arielle E. Kobetz Arielle E. Kobetz

Arielle E. Kobetz is an associate in the Labor & Employment Law Department and a member of the Employment Counseling & Training Group. Her practice focuses on providing clients with strategies and counseling related to a variety of workplace-related disputes, including employee terminations…

Arielle E. Kobetz is an associate in the Labor & Employment Law Department and a member of the Employment Counseling & Training Group. Her practice focuses on providing clients with strategies and counseling related to a variety of workplace-related disputes, including employee terminations and discipline, leave and accommodation requests, and general employee relations matters. She also counsels clients on developing, implementing and enforcing personnel policies and procedures and reviewing and revising employee handbooks under federal, state and local law.

Prior to joining Proskauer, Arielle served as a law clerk at the New York City Human Resources Administration, Employment Law Unit, where she worked on a variety of employment discrimination and internal employee disciplinary issues.

Photo of Guy Brenner Guy Brenner

Guy Brenner is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and leads the Firm’s Washington, D.C. Labor & Employment practice. He is head of the Government Contractor Compliance Group, co-head of the Counseling, Training & Pay Equity Group and a member…

Guy Brenner is a partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and leads the Firm’s Washington, D.C. Labor & Employment practice. He is head of the Government Contractor Compliance Group, co-head of the Counseling, Training & Pay Equity Group and a member of the Restrictive Covenants, Trade Secrets & Unfair Competition Group. He has extensive experience representing employers in both single-plaintiff and class action matters, as well as in arbitration proceedings. He also regularly assists federal government contractors with the many special employment-related compliance challenges they face.

Guy represents employers in all aspects of employment and labor litigation and counseling, with an emphasis on non-compete and trade secrets issues, medical and disability leave matters, employee/independent contractor classification issues, and the investigation and litigation of whistleblower claims. He assists employers in negotiating and drafting executive agreements and employee mobility agreements, including non-competition, non-solicit and non-disclosure agreements, and also conducts and supervises internal investigations. He also regularly advises clients on pay equity matters, including privileged pay equity analyses.

Guy advises federal government contractors and subcontractors all aspects of Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) regulations and requirements, including preparing affirmative action plans, responding to desk audits, and managing on-site audits.

Guy is a former clerk to Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of the US District Court of the District of Columbia.