Code of the District of Columbia

§ 32–502.01. COVID-19 leave.

*NOTE: This section was created by temporary legislation that will expire on May 22, 2021.*

(a) During the COVID-19 public health emergency, an employee shall be entitled to leave if the employee is unable to work due to:

(1) A recommendation from a health care provider that the employee isolate or quarantine, including because the employee or an individual with whom the employee shares a household is at high risk for serious illness from COVID-19;

(2) A need to care for a family member or an individual with whom the employee shares a household who is under a government or health care provider's order to quarantine or isolate; or

(3) A need to care for a child whose school or place of care is closed or whose childcare provider is unavailable to the employee.

(b)(1) An employee may use no more than 16 weeks of leave pursuant to this section during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

(2) The right to leave pursuant to this section expires on the date the COVID-19 public health emergency expires.

(c) An employer may require reasonable certification of the need for COVID-19 leave as follows:

(1) If the leave is necessitated by the recommendation of a health care provider to the employee, a written, dated statement from a health care provider stating that the employee has such need and the probable duration of the need for leave;

(2) If the leave is necessitated by the recommendation of a health care provider to an employee's family member or individual with whom the employee shares a household, a written, dated statement from a health care provider stating that the individual has such need and the probable duration of the condition.

(3) If the leave is needed because a school, place of care, or childcare provider is unavailable, a statement by the head of the agency, company, or childcare provider stating such closure or unavailability, which may include a printed statement obtained from the institution's website.

(d) Notwithstanding § 32-516, this section shall apply to any employer regardless of the number of persons in the District that the employer employs.

(e)(1) Except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3) of this subsection, leave under this section may consist of unpaid leave.

(2) Any paid leave provided by an employer that the employee elects to use for leave under this section shall count against the 16 workweeks of allowable leave provided in this section.

(3) If an employer has a program that allows an employee to use the paid leave of another employee under certain conditions and the conditions have been met, the employee may use the paid leave as leave and the leave shall count against the 16 workweeks of leave provided in this section.

(4) An employee shall not be required, but may elect, to use leave provided under this section before other leave to which the employee is entitled under federal or District law or an employer's policies, unless barred by District or federal law.

(f) The provisions of § 32-505 shall apply to an employee who takes leave pursuant to this section.

(g) An employer who willfully violates subsections (a) through (e) of this section shall be assessed a civil penalty of $1,000 for each offense.

(h) The rights provided to an employee under this section may not be diminished by any collective bargaining agreement or any employment benefit program or plan; except, that this section shall not supersede any clause on family or medical leave in a collective bargaining agreement in force on the applicability date of this section for the time that the collective bargaining agreement is in effect.

(i) For the purposes of this section, the term "COVID-19 public health emergency" means the emergencies declared in the Declaration of Public Emergency (Mayor's Order 2020-045) together with the Declaration of Public Health Emergency (Mayor's Order 2020-046), declared on March 11, 2020, including any extension of those declared emergencies.


(Oct. 3, 1990, D.C. Law 8-181, § 3a; as added Oct. 9, 2020, D.C. Law 23-130, § 104(b), 67 DCR 8622.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) creation of this section, see § 103(b) of Coronavirus Support Second Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2020 [Effective August 19, 2020 through October 8, 2020] (D.C. Act 23-405, Aug. 19, 2020, 67 DCR 10235).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) creation of this section, see § 104(b) of Coronavirus Support Temporary Amendment Act of 2020 [Effective from October 9, 2020] (D.C. Law 23-130, Oct. 9, 2020, 67 DCR 8622).