District of Columbia Expands Paid Sick Leave Law

Employers in the District of Columbia will need to comply with an amended law that significantly expands employee rights to paid sick leave.

As of February 22, 2014, employers in the District of Columbia will need to comply with an amended law that significantly expands employee rights to paid sick leave. Most notably, the new law relaxes eligibility requirements for employees. Employees will now be eligible to accrue sick leave upon hire and use sick leave after 90 days of employment. The accrual rate depends on the size of the employer:

  • Employers with 24 or fewer employees: Employees will accrue one hour of sick leave for every 87 hours worked, up to a maximum of three days per year.
  • Employers with 25 to 99 employees: Employees will accrue one hour of sick leave for every 43 hours worked, up to a maximum of five days per year.
  • Employers with 100 or more employees: Employees will accrue one hour of sick leave for every 37 hours worked, up to a maximum of seven days per year.

Tipped restaurant and bar employees will accrue sick leave at a rate of one hour for every 43 hours worked, up to five days per year, regardless of the size of the employer.

Employees may use paid sick leave for their own illnesses, to care for an ill family member, or to obtain services related to domestic violence, stalking, or sexual abuse. A “family member” includes a spouse, child, grandchild, parent, domestic partner, sibling, parent-in-law, spouse of a child, and spouse of a sibling.

If the reason for the leave is foreseeable, the employee must make a written request in writing at least ten days prior to taking leave. If the reason for leave is not foreseeable, the employee may make an oral request before the start of the work shift for which leave is being requested.