With a few exceptions, all private employers are required to participate in the District’s program and can’t opt out through a private or self-funded plan.
- July 1, 2020: The District started administering Paid Leave benefits.
- Effective October 1, 2021: The District expanded leave types and durations, and it prohibited Short-Term Disability Offsets.
- February 1, 2022: All D.C. employers are required to post an updated version of the Notice to Employees.
- Effective October 1, 2022: The District increased the duration of Paid Leave benefits to a maximum of twelve weeks, with an additional two weeks of pre-natal leave available. The maximum weekly benefit amount is $1,049/week.
What’s Covered Under the District Program?
- Bond with a new child, including birth or placement of a child into the household that the employee legally assumes parental responsibility over.
- Care for a seriously ill family member.
- An employee’s own serious health condition.
Effective October 1, 2022 additional leave reason
What Are the District Program Benefits?
Effective October 1, 2022:
- Up to twelve weeks to bond with a new child
- Up to twelve weeks to care for a family member with a serious health condition
- Up to twelve weeks for an employee’s own serious health condition
- Up to two weeks for pre-natal
- Benefits will be up to 90% weekly wages with $1049/max.
Note: There is a twelve-week DC PFML overall benefits cap in a 52-week period, except when pre-natal is involved. Then the benefit maximum may be up to 14 weeks in a 52-week period, depending on the combination of the types of leave taken.
Additionally, the standard one week waiting period in a 52-week period has temporarily been modified for COVID-19. For claims filed after 10/1/21, there is no waiting period until 365 days following the end of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Order or any extension declared by Mayor.
Short-Term Disability policies are prohibited from offsetting for DC PFML in instances of concurrent claims.
A weekly benefits calculator is available at https://does.dc.gov/page/district-columbia-paid-family-leave
How Is the District Program Funded?
Employers pay a 0.26 percent payroll tax on each employee’s gross wages each quarter. The cost cannot be deducted from an employee’s pay. There is no wage limit on the DC PFML tax.
What Are the District’s Program Eligibility Requirements?
A covered employee is someone who:
- spends more than 50 percent of their work time in DC; or
- is based in DC, regularly works a substantial amount of time in DC, and works not more than 50% of time in another jurisdiction.
- Also, self-employed individuals can opt into DC PFML if they are a sole proprietor, independent contractor or member of a partnership.
Do All DC Employers Need to Participate?
Employers paying unemployment insurance for employees in the District must also pay the DC PFML tax. Nonprofits are covered employers if they are required to pay UI tax in DC. Employers are required to participate if they indirectly control a worker through an agency like a staffing or temp agency.
Is There a Private Plan Option?
All covered employers must participate in the Department of Employment Services DC PFML program. Employers are encouraged to work with their private carrier to coordinate benefits.
Is The Hartford Offering PFML Coverage in DC?
DC requires all covered employers to participate in the Department of Employment Services DC PFML program. As such, The Hartford can’t offer fully insured or ASO coverage for DC PFML. Employers can use private Disability insurance to complement employees’ DC PFML benefits and fill gaps in pay and Leave duration that may result from a shared entitlement.
Please reach out to your employee benefits representative at The Hartford for additional information.
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This informational material is subject to change as The Hartford continues to receive guidance from states and municipalities. It shall not be considered legal advice. The Hartford assumes no responsibility for legal compliance with respect to an employer’s business practices, and the views and recommendations contained herein shall not constitute The Hartford’s undertaking on a company’s behalf, or for the benefit of others, to determine or warrant that an employer’s business operations are in compliance with any law, rule, or regulation. Employers seeking resolution of specific legal or business issues, questions, or concerns regarding this topic should consult their own attorney or business advisors; and employees should continue to consult their employers’ Human Resources or other employment benefits department for guidance on the application of any law, rule, or regulation.
The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., (NYSE: HIG) operates through its subsidiaries, including underwriting companies Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Company and Hartford Fire Insurance Company, under the brand name, The Hartford,® and is headquartered at One Hartford Plaza, Hartford, CT 06155. For additional details, please read The Hartford’s legal notice at www.thehartford.com.