The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services (“DOES”) recently released a Paid Family Leave Employee Notice (“PFL Notice”) that D.C. employers must provide to employees by February 1, 2020.   The PFL Notice, which is available here, contains information about the paid leave benefits that will be available under D.C.’s Universal Paid Leave Amendment Act of 2016 (“ULPA”) starting July 1, 2020

As we explained in a prior post, the UPLA establishes a program funded by employer tax contributions that will provide employees with partial wage replacement benefits for (1) parental leave for new child bonding (up to 8 weeks per year); (2) family leave to care for a family member with a serious health condition (up to 6 weeks a year); and (3) medical leave for the employee’s own serious health condition (up to 2 weeks a year), with a cap on total paid leave benefits provided to an employee at 8 weeks annually.

Beyond posting the PFL Notice by February 1, 2020, employers have an ongoing duty to provide the PFL Notice, either physically or electronically, to employees in three situations after February 1, 2020:

  1. to all employees at least once between February 1, 2020 and February 1, 2021, and at least once a year thereafter;
  2. to all new employees at the time of hire; and
  3. to any individual employee when the employer receives direct notice of the employee’s need for leave for an event that could qualify for PFL benefits.

In addition to complying with these notice requirements, employers should be reviewing their current leave policies to determine whether revisions are needed before UPLA benefits become available in July. The PFL Notice does not address coordination of PFL and employer-provided leave benefits. For currently available information about how PFL benefits may intersect with employers’ own leave policies, see our prior post here. DOES is expected to publish final benefits regulations soon, which may provide additional guidance on how to coordinate existing leave policies with the new law.