Code of the District of Columbia

§ 32–531.02a. Paid public health emergency leave requirement.

(a)(1) Beginning April 10, 2020, and for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency, an employer with between 50 and 499 employees, that is not a health care provider, shall provide paid leave to an employee pursuant to this section for an absence from work due to covered reasons.

(2) An employer shall provide paid leave to an employee in an amount sufficient to ensure that an employee who must be absent from work for covered reasons be able to remain away from work for 2 full weeks of work up to 80 hours, or, for a part-time employee, for the usual number of hours the employee works in a 2-week period.

(3)(A) Subject to subparagraph (B) of this paragraph, an employer shall compensate an employee for leave provided pursuant to this section at the employee's regular rate of pay. In the case of an employee who does not have a regular rate of pay, the employee's rate of pay shall be determined by dividing the employee's total gross earnings, including all tips, commission, piecework, or other earnings earned on an irregular basis for the most recent 2-week period that the employee worked for the employer, by the number of hours the employee worked during that 2-week period.

(B) In no case shall an employee's rate of pay fall below the minimum wage established by § 32-1003(a).

(4) An employer shall provide paid leave under this section to any employee who commenced work for the employer at least 15 days before the request for leave.

(b)(1) An employee may only use paid leave provided under this section concurrently with or after exhausting any other paid leave to which the employee may be entitled for covered reasons under federal or District law or an employer's policies.

(2) If an employee elects to use paid leave provided under this section concurrently with other paid leave, the employer may reduce the monetary benefit of the paid leave provided under this section by the amount of the monetary benefit the employee will receive for paid leave taken under federal or District law or the employer's policies.

(3) If an employee elects to use paid leave provided under this section after exhausting other paid leave, the employer may reduce the number of hours of paid leave an employee may use under this section by the number of hours of paid leave taken under federal or District law or the employer's policies.

(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to require an employer to provide an employee with paid leave pursuant to this section for more than 2 full weeks of work up to 80 hours. If an employee uses all of the leave available under this section and subsequently informs the employer of the employee's continued need to be absent from work, the employer shall inform the employee of any paid or unpaid leave to which the employee may be entitled pursuant to federal or District law or the employer's policies.

(d) Before taking any other administrative action on a complaint filed pursuant to § 32-512, the Mayor shall promptly provide the employer with written notice of the alleged violation, in a form or manner to be determined by the Mayor, and give the employer 5 business days to cure the alleged violation. The time to cure the violation shall run from the date the employer receives the notice.

(e) For the purposes of this section, the term:

(1) "Covered reasons" means any of the reasons for which federal paid leave is available pursuant to section 5102 of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, approved March 18, 2020 (Pub. L. No. 116-127; 134 Stat. 195).

(2) "COVID-19 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.

(3) "Health care provider" means any doctor's office, hospital, health care center, clinic, post-secondary educational institution offering health care instruction, medical school, local health department or agency, nursing facility, retirement facility, nursing home, home health care provider, any facility that performs laboratory or medical testing, pharmacy, or any similar institution, employer, or entity. The term "health care provider" includes any permanent or temporary institution, facility, location, or site where medical services are provided that are similar to such institutions.


(May 13, 2008, D.C. Law 17-152, § 3a; as added June 8, 2020, D.C. Act 23-328, § 105(a)(2), 67 DCR 7598.)