D.C. Council Approves Plan for Paid Family and Medical Leave

One of the most visible initiatives supported by the Birth-to-Three Policy Alliance — a comprehensive paid family and medical leave plan for private-sector workers in the District of Columbia — came before the D.C. Council for a vote yesterday. It was approved by a veto-proof margin of 9 to 4, making the District only the fourth jurisdiction nationwide (following California, New Jersey and Rhode Island) to enact such a measure.

According to the Washington Post, the bill “guarantees eight weeks of paid time off to new parents, six weeks to workers caring for ailing family members and two weeks of personal sick time. To pay for it, the city will levy a new 0.62 percent payroll tax on employers small and large to generate $250 million annually, which will be distributed by a new arm of the city government.”

“No one should be forced to make impossible choices between caring for the people we love and earning the money we need. With a paid family and medical leave program in DC, we can improve workplace standards and ensure that families have the financial stability they need when life happens!”

— DC Paid Family Leave Campaign

The Policy Alliance is a group of leading D.C. nonprofit policy, advocacy and service organizations convened by the Foundation to improve the odds for D.C.’s infants and toddlers by focusing on the systems that support children and families. Policy Alliance member, Jews United for Justice, led the effort to get the bill passed and will ensure that it is on track for launch in 2018, with strong support from DC Fiscal Policy Institute and many other advocates.

Policy Alliance members voiced their support through a letter delivered to the Council the day before the vote, noting that paid leave is good for children, families and child care workers, and helps to improve the quality of child care.

Congratulations to everyone who helped the District take this important step.

Read the Policy Alliance’s letter of support

Read the Post article (“D.C. Council votes for expansive paid family and medical leave for private-sector workers”)