Coalition Letter
in support of Paid Family Medical Leave for Washington, D.C.

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Dear Members of the DC Council and Mayor Bowser:

On behalf of the undersigned organizations, representing a diverse coalition of local DC businesses, community institutions, service providers, and advocacy organizations, we urge you to establish a paid family and medical leave program for everyone living or working in the District. No one should be forced to make impossible choices between caring for the people they love and keeping the jobs and income they need to make ends meet. Paid leave policies strengthen businesses and the workforce, improve community health, and are urgently needed by DC’s working families. We are counting on your leadership!

Nationwide, fewer than 40% of people who work have access to paid medical leave provided through an employer’s temporary disability insurance program. A mere 13% nationally have access to paid family leave when a new baby arrives or a loved one falls very ill. And in jobs where employees earn the least, paid leave programs are even scarcer: only 5% of low-wage workers are given time to care for new members of the family or ailing relatives (1). With such limited options for paid leave, it is no wonder that one in four new moms are back to work within two weeks of having a baby (2). At some point, everyone will face a time when they are welcoming a new child, recovering from a serious medical condition, or caring for an ailing family member. It is wrong to expect families facing major life events or medical emergencies to go weeks on end without any income, further jeopardizing their health and wellbeing. We can and must do better.

Through a paid family and medical leave program, DC employers and residents would pay a small amount into a self-sustaining city-operated fund that enables anyone who lives or works in DC to receive a meaningful portion of their salary when taking leave for a variety of caregiving situations. A paid leave insurance program is the most straightforward, cost-effective, and equitable way to support the economic security of people and families living or working in the District, while simultaneously ensuring that businesses have the financial stability and predictability that they need. Paid family leave programs help employers of every size and kind retain their best employees (3), keep the cost of turnover, hiring, and training low, and plan their leave expenses predictably in advance rather than paying out of pocket unexpectedly.

The DC Universal Paid Leave Act of 2015 as introduced creates a strong paid family and medical leave program by:

  • Providing for both personal and family caregiving paid leave, with inclusive definitions of family that reflect the broad range of D.C.'s families

  • Covering almost all people living or working in the District

  • Paying the most to those who need it the most by establishing a paycheck replacement calculation that enables all families to afford to take advantage of a paid family and medical leave program when they need to

  • Covering all residents and workers for up to 16 weeks of paid family and medical leave, building upon DC’s existing unpaid leave law (DC FMLA)

  • Improving upon job protections already set forth in DC FMLA

These policy parameters represent a minimum standard for an effective and just paid family and medical leave program, and we call on you to protect these key provisions as legislation moves forward.

As employers and community institutions, we know that paid leave is good for employees and employers alike. All across the country, there is a growing chorus of voices like ours advocating for local jurisdictions to #LeadOnLeave. You can help DC set the national standard for paid leave by supporting and advancing this legislation.

We look forward to leading on leave with you. Thank you.  


(1) National Compensation Survey: Employee Benefits in the United States. March 2014

(2) The Real War on Families: Why the U.S. Needs Paid Leave Now. August 2015

(3) Center For American Progress: Economic Benefits of Family and Medical Leave Insurance. December 2013

Add your support to the campaign coalition letter now:
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Current Coalition Partners Include:

Local DC Businesses

  • 5th Street Ace Hardware
  • 76 Words
  • Adams Morgan Ace Hardware
  • AGH Strategies
  • Allen Custom Frame
  • Amalgamated Bank
  • Ampersand Strategies
  • Anacostia River Realty
  • Angelico La Pizzeria
  • Annie's Ace Hardware
  • Bacio Pizzeria
  • Beadazzled
  • Ben Droz Photography
  • Bright Start Earlycare & Preschool
  • Bulldog Finance Group
  • Busboys and Poets
  • Capitol Hill Stay
  • Cavanaugh Hagan Pierson & Mintz
  • Cherry Blossom Creative
  • The Chic Shack
  • Colony Club
  • Context Partners
  • Democracy Partners
  • The Duke and the Duck Productions, LLC
  • Dupont Circle Communications
  • Each Peach Market 
  • ECORE Living 
  • Eighty2degrees LLC
  • Emily Goodstein Photography
  • The English Teacher Collective
  • Fare Well
  • Flying Fish Coffee and Tea
  • Flamboyan Foundation 
  • Freed Bodyworks
  • Friendly Design Co. 
  • GBA Strategies
  • G III Associates
  • Glover Park Ace Hardware
  • Grassroots Gourmet
  • Holly Shulman Public Relations
  • Howl to the Chief
  • Intimate Health Consulting
  • James & Hoffman
  • Jubilee JumpStart 
  • Kangaroo Boxing Club
  • Lake Research Partners, Inc. 
  • Les Talusan Photography
  • Lighthouse Yoga Center
  • Logan Ace Hardware
  • Mama's Kitchen
  • Mary C Donahue, LICSW
  • Miss Pixie's 
  • Movement Matters
  • Mulebone (formerly Eatonville)
  • Nelson LLC
  • New Columbia Distillers 
  • New Heights Communications
  • The New Media Firm
  • Ochstein Strategies
  • Parlour Salon
  • Patagonia (Georgetown Store)
  • Pethworthy Dogs 
  • Pleasant Pops
  • Red Tree Strategy
  • Scarlet Oak Acupuncture
  • Solimar International Inc.
  • Sound of Everything
  • Spiggle Law Firm (DC office)
  • Springboard Partners LLC
  • Sticky Fingers Sweets and Eats
  • Tanenholz & Associates, PLLC
  • TCG, Inc. 
  • Tenleytown Ace Hardware
  • Timber Pizza Co.
  • Transformational Acupuncture
  • Treasure Trove Jewelers
  • Union Kitchen
  • Union Kitchen Grocery 
  • Uprise: Communications Consulting for Good Guys
  • Woodley Park Ace Hardware
  • Yoga Heights
  • Zeke's Coffee
  • Zenful Bites

Local Non-Profit Community Institutions

  • 9to5, National Association of Working Women: DC Action Team 
  • AllEyesOnDC
  • Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1764
  • Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW), DC Metro Chapter
  • Collective Action for Safe Spaces
  • Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 2336
  • Covenant Baptist UCC 
  • DC Action for Children
  • DC Appleseed
  • DC Area Transmasculine Society
  • The DC Center for the LGBT Community
  • DC Chapter of the National Organization for Women
  • DC Employment Justice Center
  • DC Fiscal Policy Institute 
  • DC for Democracy
  • DC Jobs with Justice
  • DC Nurses Association
  • DC Tenants' Rights Center
  • DC Working Families
  • District of Columbia Breastfeeding Coalition
  • District of Columbia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (DC AAP)
  • Dumbarton United Methodist Church
  • Emmaus Services for the Aging
  • Empower DC
  • Foster & Adoptive Parent Advocacy Center
  • The Future Foundation
  • Hyacinth's Place
  • ICNA Council for Social Justice
  • Interfaith Power & Light (MD.DC.NoVA)
  • Iona Senior Services
  • Jews United for Justice
  • Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia
  • LiUNA! Laborers' Local 11
  • Many Languages One Voice 
  • Mary's Center 
  • Metro DC PFLAG
  • Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO
  • Metropolitan Washington Public Health Association (MWPHA)
  • Miriam's Kitchen
  • National Lawyers Guild, Labor & Employment Committee, D.C. Chapter 
  • ONE DC (Organizing Neighborhood Equity)
  • Petworth News
  • The Potter's House
  • Rainbow Families DC
  • Restaurant Opportunity Center (ROC) DC
  • Roosevelt Institute @ GW
  • Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 32BJ
  • Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 500
  • Smith Center for Healing and the Arts
  • Southeast Ministry
  • Temple Micah
  • United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 400
  • Washington Ethical Society 
  • Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs
  • Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless
  • Washington Peace Center
  • Washington Teachers' Union
  • We Act Radio
  • Women's Information Network (WIN)
  • YWCA National Capital Area

National Non-Profits with DC Offices Supporting the Legislation as DC Employers

  • Advocates for Youth
  • American Association of University Women
  • American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO
  • American Friends Service Committee - DC
  • American Jewish World Service: Washington, DC Office
  • American Sustainable Business Council
  • Americans for Tax Fairness 
  • Black Women's Health Imperative 
  • Caring Across Generations
  • Center for Community Change
  • Center for International Policy
  • Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)
  • Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW)
  • Coalition on Human Needs
  • Committee of Interns and Residents/SEIU Healthcare
  • DC Vote
  • Development Seed 
  • Family Equality Council
  • Family Values @ Work
  • Family Values @ Work LGBT Equality Project
  • Financial Transparency Coalition
  • First Shift Justice Project
  • Forward Together
  • Good Jobs First
  • Human Rights Campaign
  • Just Foreign Policy
  • MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger 
  • Methodist Federation for Social Action
  • NARAL Pro Choice America
  • National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum
  • National Center for Lesbian Rights
  • National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, Black Women's Roundtable
  • National Council of Jewish Women 
  • National Domestic Workers Alliance
  • National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
  • National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund 
  • National Network of Abortion Funds
  • National Partnership for Women & Families 
  • National WIC Association
  • National Women's Law Center
  • New America
  • OWL Network - Organizing Women to Lead
  • Physicians for Reproductive Health
  • Progressive Congress Action Fund
  • Promundo-US
  • Reproductive Health Technologies Project
  • Social Security Works
  • Sojourners
  • The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
  • URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity
  • USAction
  • Worker Rights Consortium
  • Working America
  • Young Invincibles