Could Washington, D.C.’s City Council lead the way for creating the most generous leave mandate in the United States?
Currently, the nation’s capital City Council is reviewing legislation that could provide District residents with 16 weeks of paid family and medical leave. The employees could use the paid leave for the birth or adoption of a child, or to care for a loved one during illness or injury. (The leave could also be applied for the employee to take time for their own medical condition.)
Workers who earn less than $52,000 per year would be eligible to receive 100% of their salary while they are on leave. Higher-paid employees would receive up to $1,000 per week plus 50% of their salary but the benefit would not exceed $3,000 per week.
In the proposal, introduced by D.C. Councilmembers David Grosso and Elissa Silverman, funding would be generated by placing a new tax on private employers in D.C. on a salary-dependent sliding scale. The private employers would pay between 0.6% and 1.0% of their employees’ salaries. The federal government (D.C.’s largest employer) would not participate but federal employees and contractors who work within the District could join the program with a small participation fee.