December 02, 2016
The D.C. City Council will vote early next week on whether to require employers to give full and part-time employees the most generous paid family and medical leave benefits in the nation, a move over which D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has expressed concern, as only 36 percent of private sector employees in Washington also reside in the District. "This is about fairness," Bowser said, "and if we are going to raise a quarter of a billion dollars in new taxes each year, then D.C. families should be the primary beneficiaries." Despite the Mayor's misgivings, she has not taken a position on the bill. If passed, employers would be required to provide 11 weeks of paid family leave for parents with newborn or adopted children, and eight weeks to provide care for ailing parents or grandparents. Employees on leave would draw from a government account to receive a portion of their pay as high as 90 percent and heavily graduated down depending on income levels. A payroll tax on businesses of 0.62 percent would be installed to fund the measure, placing the entire cost burden on businesses. D.C. would join California, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and New York in requiring paid family leave.