For Immediate Release: 
December 20, 2016
Matthew Nocella, (202) 724-8105

Council gives final approval to universal paid leave for D.C. workers

Washington, D.C. – Today, the Council of the District of Columbia gave final approval to the Universal Paid Leave Amendment Act of 2015 which provides up to eight weeks of paid leave to workers in D.C.

“Today, the District of Columbia fundamentally changed how it treats workers,” Grosso, who co-introduced the bill in October 2015, said.  “Recognizing that our workers have responsibilities outside of their employment, the Council has voted to relieve them of the difficult choice between a paycheck and caring for a loved one.”

The bill provides employees who have a child through birth, adoption, foster care or other legal placement will be eligible for up to eight weeks of paid leave.  It also provides up to six weeks of paid leave to D.C. workers to care for a family member experiencing a serious health condition, and up to two weeks for a personal serious health condition.

“Paid leave provides financial stability to workers while allowing them to care for ailing family members. Parents who take leave after the arrival of a new child would return to work in better general health. More women would participate in the work place. Infant mortality would decline,” Grosso said.

Workers will be able to receive up to 90 percent of their wages in those periods, capped at $1,000 per week.  Federal and local government employees will not be eligible for the benefits.

“The bill is also good for all businesses,” Grosso added. “They will now have a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining highly qualified employees with a progressive benefit that they can offer to all their workers at a fraction of the cost of providing it themselves. All this while continuing the upward trajectory of D.C.’s thriving economy.”

“I want to thank Chairman Phil Mendelson and his staff for his tireless work to hone our bill into something that won such overwhelming approval today.” Grosso said. “I also greatly appreciate the partnership of Councilmember Elissa Silverman and the advocacy efforts of the D.C. Paid Leave Coalition, the National Partnership for Women and Families, Family Values @ Work, and others in articulating the need for paid family leave in the District of Columbia.  We would not be where we are today without all of their incredible work.”

The bill now goes to Mayor Muriel Bowser for her approval.

“Over 80 percent of D.C. residents support this legislation.  I urge the mayor to stand with the workers and families of D.C. and sign the bill.”