Frequently asked questions for DC FMLA
When it comes to the District of Columbia’s Family and Medical Leave Act, many workers wonder what their rights are and how they stack up to what is provided by the federal government. The DC FMLA provides workers with benefits that extend far beyond the bare minimum, but is not yet providing paid benefits.
According to the D.C. Department of Employment Services, starting on the first of July this year, the U.S. capital began to collect employer taxes. After a year of this, D.C. plans to begin administering paid leave benefits for those who need it. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the current provisions.
What are the main provisions?
Generally speaking, parents receive up to eight weeks of leave to bond with a new child. Qualifying workers may also receive six weeks off to provide care for a family member suffering from a serious medical problem. If the worker is seriously ill, they may also receive two weeks to care for themselves.
Who qualifies for these provisions?
The requirements as provided by the DES are as follows:
- Employed for at least one year with no interruptions to that time period of service
- Completed at least 19 hours per week of work or a total of 1,000 hours
Workers must pay keen attention to how D.C. and/or the employer calculates the 12-month period for eligibility. It may not be necessary for the leave to be the exact 12 months preceding the request.
Even self-employed people can qualify for paid leave, provided that they have made the required payments for employers during the relevant time period.
Does the D.C. government count as a single employer?
Yes, the government is considered one employer. Because of this, if an employee transfers from one D.C. agency to another during the qualifying 12-month period, it usually should not affect their eligibility. The DCFMLA does not cover people who work for the federal government, so that time spent working for the federal government prior to transferring to the D.C. government would not count.