For Immediate Release: 
December 6, 2016
Matthew Nocella, (202) 724-8105

Council advances universal paid leave for D.C. workers

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

“Today is a victory for D.C. workers,” Grosso, who co-introduced the bill in October 2015, said.  “No longer will they need to risk financial ruin to address serious medical conditions or care for a newborn baby or other loved one.”

Under the legislation, 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 would also provide 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.

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.

“We will also give our local businesses the ability to offer a progressive benefit to all of their employees,” Grosso added. “They will now have a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining highly qualified employees.

“This is good for society. As a country we lag behind the rest of the world on family leave, but as a city we will be a leader.  Our success will provide further evidence of its benefits to jurisdictions across the country.”

“I want to thank Chairman Phil Mendelson for his commitment to bringing this bill up for consideration before the end of the year and the work he and his staff have done to make that possible,” Grosso said. “I also greatly appreciate the partnerships of Councilmember Elissa Silverman, the D.C. Paid Leave Coalition, the National Partnership for Women and Families, Family Values @ Work, and the many other advocates working on this measure.”

The bill is likely to pass a vote later today and then a second vote at the final legislative meeting of the Council on Dec. 20 before going to Mayor Muriel Bowser for her signature.

“I hope the Mayor will provide our workers and businesses the vast benefits this bill offers and support paid leave with her signature.”