Code of the District of Columbia

§ 32–531.02. Provision of paid leave.

(a)(1) An employer with 100 or more employees shall provide for each employee not less than one hour of paid leave for every 37 hours worked, not to exceed 7 days per calendar year.

(2) An employer with at least 25, but not more than 99, employees shall provide for each employee not less than one hour of paid leave for every 43 hours worked, not to exceed 5 days per calendar year.

(3) An employer with 24 or fewer employees shall provide not less than one hour of paid leave for every 87 hours worked, not to exceed 3 days per calendar year.

(4) For the purposes of paragraphs (1) through (3) of this subsection, the number of employees of an employer shall be determined by the average monthly number of full-time equivalent employees for the prior calendar year. The average monthly number shall be calculated by adding the total monthly full-time equivalent employees for each month and dividing by 12.

(5) In the case of employees who are exempt from overtime payment under section 213(a)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, approved June 25, 1938 (52 Stat. 1060; 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq.), employees shall not accrue leave for hours worked beyond a 40-hour work week.

(b) Paid leave accrued under this section may be used by an employee for any of the following:

(1) An absence resulting from a physical or mental illness, injury, or medical condition of the employee;

(2) An absence resulting from obtaining professional medical diagnosis or care, or preventive medical care, for the employee, subject to the requirement of subsection (d) of this section;

(3) An absence for the purpose of caring for a child, a parent, a spouse, domestic partner, or any other family member who has any of the conditions or needs for diagnosis or care described in paragraph (1) or (2) of this subsection; or

(4) An absence if the employee or the employee’s family member is a victim of stalking, domestic violence, or sexual abuse; provided, that the absence is directly related to social or legal services pertaining to the stalking, domestic violence, or sexual abuse, to:

(A) Seek medical attention for the employee or the employee’s family member to recover from physical or psychological injury or disability caused by domestic violence or sexual abuse;

(B) Obtain services from a victim services organization;

(C) Obtain psychological or other counseling;

(D) Temporarily or permanently relocate;

(E) Take legal action, including preparing for or participating in any civil or criminal legal proceeding related to or resulting from the domestic violence or sexual abuse; or

(F) Take other actions to enhance the physical, psychological, or economic health or safety of the employee or the employee’s family member or to enhance the safety of those who associate or work with the employee.

(c)(1) Paid leave under this subchapter shall accrue in accordance with the employer’s established pay period. An individual shall accrue paid leave at the beginning of his or her employment. An employee may begin to access paid leave after 90 days of service with his or her employer.

(2) If an employee is transferred to a separate division, entity, or location within the District, or transferred out of the District and then transferred back to a division, entity, or location within the District, but remains employed by the same employer, the employee shall be entitled to all paid leave accrued at the prior division, entity, or location and shall be entitled to use all paid leave as provided in this subchapter.

(3) When there is a separation from employment and the employee is rehired within one year of separation by the same employer, previously accrued unused paid leave shall be reinstated. The employee shall be entitled to use accrued paid leave and accrue additional paid leave immediately upon the re-commencement of employment; provided, that the employee had previously been eligible to use paid leave. If there is a separation of more than one year, an employer shall not be required to reinstate accrued paid leave and the rehired employee shall be considered to have newly commenced employment.

(4) An employee who is discharged after the completion of a probationary period of 90 days or more, and is rehired within 12 months, may access paid leave immediately.

(d) An employee shall make a reasonable effort to schedule paid leave under subsection (b) of this section in a manner that does not unduly disrupt the operations of the employer.

(e) If an employee does not suffer a loss of income when absent from work, for the number of days up to the days of paid leave provided for in subsection (a)(1), (2), and (3) of this section, an employer shall not be required to provide paid leave for such employee in accordance with this subchapter. Notwithstanding the foregoing sentence, the provisions of § 32-131.08 shall apply to employees who do not suffer a loss of income when absent from work.

(f) If employees of beauty, hair, and nail salons are paid by commission (whether commission only or base wage plus commission), the sick leave rate of pay shall be calculated as follows: divide the employee’s total earnings in base wages and commissions for the prior calendar year by the total hours worked as a commissioned employee during the prior calendar year. If employees do not have a prior calendar year’s work history, divide the employee’s total earnings in base wages and commissions since the employee’s date of hire by the total hours worked as a commissioned employee since that date.

(g) Notwithstanding the requirements in subsections (a)(1)-(4) of this section, for an employee of a restaurant or bar who regularly receive [sic] tips, commissions, or other gratuities to supplement a base wage that is below the minimum wage as established in § 32-1003(a), the employer shall provide the employee not less than one hour of paid leave for every 43 hours worked, not to exceed 5 days per calendar year. The paid leave shall be compensated in accordance with the District minimum wage, as established in § 32-1003(a).


(May 13, 2008, D.C. Law 17-152, § 3, 55 DCR 3452; Mar. 25, 2009, D.C. Law 17-353, § 311(a), 56 DCR 1117; Feb. 22, 2014, D.C. Law 20-89, § 2(b), 61 DCR 317.)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., § 32-131.02.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 32-131.01, § 32-131.04, and § 32-131.05.

Effect of Amendments

The 2014 amendment by D.C. Law 20-89 rewrote (c); and added (g).

D.C. Law 17-353, in subsec. (c), substituted “when he or she qualifies as an employee” for “at the beginning of his or her employment. An employee may begin to access paid leave after 90 days of service with his or her employer” in par. (1), and repealed par. (3), which had read as follows: “(3) An employee who is discharged after the completion of a 90-day probationary period and is rehired within 12 months may access paid leave immediately.”

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) repeal of D.C. Law 20-157, § 7, see § 4 of the Wage Theft Prevention Correction and Clarification Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-293, Jan. 27, 2016, 63 DCR 1215).

For temporary (90 days) repeal of D.C. Law 20-157, § 7, see § 4 of the Wage Theft Prevention Correction and Clarification Emergency Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-188, Oct. 27, 2015, 62 DCR 14224).

For temporary (90 days) repeal of D.C. Law 20-89, § 3, see § 7003 of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Second Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-566, January 9, 2015, 62 DCR 884).

For temporary (90 days) repeal of D.C. Law 20-89, § 3, see § 7003 of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-449, October 10, 2014, 61 DCR 10915, 20 STAT 4188).

For temporary (90 days) repeal of D.C. Law 20-89, § 3, see § 7003 of the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-377, July 14, 2014, 61 DCR 7598, 20 STAT 3696).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) repeal of D.C. Law 20-157, §  7, see §  4 of the Wage Theft Prevention Correction and Clarification Temporary Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Law 21-57, Jan. 30, 2016, 62 DCR 15602).

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-157: Section 7 of D.C. Law 20-157 provided that the act shall apply as of October 1, 2014, and that the act shall apply to violations occurring after October 1, 2014.

Section 3 of D.C. Law 20-89 was repealed by D.C. Law 20-155, § 7003, effective Feb. 26, 2015.

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-89: Section 3 of D.C. Law 20-89 provided that the act shall apply upon the inclusion of its fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan, as certified by the Chief Financial Officer to the Budget Director of the Council in a certification published by the Council in the District of Columbia Register.