Restore the Universal Paid Leave Act to better support DC's working families

In February, Council Chair Mendelson released proposed changes to the paid leave bill. It remains a solid policy for those that it includes, but the new draft excludes huge groups of DCers and our families, and does not cover some of the key life events or situations that it should.

We look forward to working with the Council to make a strong paid leave program better and make sure it covers all who need it.

Add your voice to ours and let's ensure paid family and medical leave for all!


Dear Chairman Mendelson and Members of the DC Council:

Thank you for your leadership on the Universal Paid Leave Act of 2015. Please strengthen the bill to better support working people across the District and advance the legislation to markup first thing this fall. The following are my priorities for a strong paid leave program:

  • Meaningful length of leave. 12 weeks is a minimum, but many families really need 16. The final bill should include a phased implementation plan to provide for up to 16 weeks of leave as revenue is determined to be sufficient.
  • Progressive wage replacement. The program's payout rate is important for keeping struggling families afloat, and cannot go any lower than 90%.

  • Inclusive definition of "family." This bill must broadly cover close blood relatives (e.g. parents, children of all ages, siblings, grandparents, and grandchildren), domestic partners, spouses, and chosen family.

  • Parity of health situations covered. This bill must broadly include leave for both physical and mental health needs, end-of-life care, outpatient care, self care, family caregiving, and gender-neutral parental leave.

  • Eligibility for workers and residents. This program should cover everyone who works or lives in the District,  including self employed workers, District government employees, and residents who commute to MD or VA for work.

  • Advance workplace rights. Job protection should kick in after you've worked 6 months, and working DCers should not have to first use up accrued sick leave before taking a family or medical leave.



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