D.C. Paid Leave Law Could Be in for Rewrite

The ink is barely dry on Washington, D.C.’s new paid leave law, and already its leading proponent is calling for rewriting some its provisions.

Under the law, which passed the city council in December, companies must offer 8 weeks of parental, six weeks of to care for an ailing relative and two weeks of personal sick time to eligible employees.

The potential revisions to the law pushed by council chairman Phil Mendelson concern the tax rate that the government would impose on the city’s businesses to pay for the benefit and the bureaucracy that would be set up to administer the law.

In its current version, the law imposes a 0.62 percent increase in employer-paid payroll taxes. Under that revenue the cit would replace 90 percent of the first $900 in affected employees’ weekly pay and 50 percent of their remaining weekly pay, wit a cap of $1,000 per week.

One option being considered is to impose a fee on employers with 50 or more workers hat would not exceed 0.1 percent of payroll.

As for who will run the program, Mendelson said he’s open to the idea of hiring a private contractor rather than setting up a new government department envisioned in the current legislation.

The good new is there is time to work out these tweaks to the law, because it won’t apply to the city’s businesses until 2019.

There could still be some hiccups along the way. Mayor Muriel Bowser didn’t sign the bill into law but neither did she veto it. However, the bill is now before Congress for a 30-day review period. And who knows whether this Congress will let the law stand.

I’ve been tracking the law’s progress.

Stay tuned here for further developments.


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