Code of the District of Columbia

§ 32–541.06. Administration of the paid-leave program.

(a) The Mayor shall establish reasonable procedures and forms for filing claims for benefits under this subchapter and shall specify the supporting documentation necessary to support a claim for benefits, including, for qualifying family leave or qualifying medical leave, proof of a serious health condition and the length of leave expected based on industry standards used by health care professionals to label diagnosis of medical conditions and treatments.

(b) Claims for paid-leave benefits shall be made in accordance with this subchapter and any regulations that the Mayor may prescribe for administration of the program established pursuant to this subchapter; provided, that, for qualifying family leave, the Mayor shall require an applicant to affirm that he or she will be taking the leave in order to provide care or companionship for a family member with a serious health condition and submit a description of the care or companionship to be provided.

(c) The Mayor shall notify the eligible individual's employer within 3 business days of the filing of a claim for benefits under this subchapter.

(d) No later than 10 business days after an eligible individual files a claim for benefits under this subchapter, the Mayor shall make, and notify an individual of, an initial determination as to:

(1) Whether an eligible individual may receive benefits pursuant to this subchapter;

(2) The weekly amount of benefits payable to the eligible individual;

(3) The date on which payment to the eligible individual shall commence;

(4) The number of weeks for which the eligible individual shall receive benefits and the dates on which the corresponding payments shall be made; provided, that the Mayor shall employ the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10), or any subsequent revision by the World Health Organization to the International Classification of Diseases, along with health care provider or caretaker assessments, when making this determination for purposes of qualifying family leave or qualifying medical leave; and

(5) The right to appeal to the Office of Administrative Hearings if an eligible individual does not agree with one or more of the determinations made by the Mayor pursuant to this subsection.

(e) If an individual is determined eligible to receive paid-leave benefits provided for under this subchapter, the Mayor shall make the first payment to the eligible individual within 10 business days of the determination of eligibility and subsequent payments shall be made biweekly thereafter.

(f) The Mayor may use information sharing and integration technology to facilitate the disclosure of relevant information or records so long as an individual consents to the disclosure as required under District law.

(g)(1) The Mayor shall create a user-friendly, online portal for the submission and management of forms and documents necessary to administer the paid-leave program established pursuant to this subchapter.

(2) The portal shall be accessible to the public via the Internet, and shall be designed with a privacy protected, user-friendly, interactive, searchable interface that provides information relevant to claimants, employers, and the public.

(3) No individual information shall be posted on this portal.

(4) The portal shall be compliant with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, approved August 21, 1996 (Pub. L. No. 104-191; 110 Stat. 1936).

(5) The components of the portal accessible to the general public shall include at a minimum, real-time, searchable parameters for the purpose of collection of reportable data, tracking program use, and to use data to reduce the cost of the program and to integrate the program with existing District benefit programs.

(6) The portal, and all associated software necessary to administer the paid-leave program established pursuant to this subchapter, shall be designed to be able to handle the benefits provided for in this subchapter and future changes to the parameters of the program, including the maximum number of weeks an eligible individual may claim for a qualifying leave event or the formula for calculating weekly benefits.

(h) Information contained in the files and records pertaining to an individual under this subchapter are confidential and not open to public inspection, other than to public employees in the performance of their official duties. An individual or an authorized representative of an individual may review his or her own records or receive specific information from his or her own records. All documents may be accepted and distributed electronically pursuant to § 28-4917.

(i)(1) The Mayor shall prescribe and provide to covered employers a notice explaining:

(A) The employees' right to paid-leave benefits under this subchapter and the terms under which such leave may be used;

(B) That retaliation by the covered employer against the covered employee for requesting, applying for, or using paid-leave benefits is prohibited;

(C) That an employee who works for a covered employer with under 20 employees shall not be entitled to job protection if he or she decides to take paid leave pursuant to this subchapter; and

(D) That the covered employee has a right to file a complaint and the procedures established by the Mayor for filing a complaint.

(2) The notice shall comply with subchapter II of Chapter 19 of Title 2.

(3) (3)Each covered employer shall, at the time of hiring and annually thereafter, and at the time the covered employer is aware that the leave is needed, provide this notice to each covered employee. Each covered employer shall also post and maintain the notice in a conspicuous place in English and in all languages in which the Mayor has published the notice.

(4) A covered employer who violates this notice requirement shall be assessed a civil penalty not to exceed $100 for each covered employee to whom individual notice was not delivered and $100 for each day that the covered employer fails to post the notice in a conspicuous place. No liability for failure to post notice will arise under this section if the Mayor has not prescribed the notice required by this section.

(j)(1) The Mayor shall conduct a public-education campaign, which shall be paid for out of the Universal Paid Leave Administration Fund, pursuant to section 1153(c)(1) of the Universal Paid Leave Implementation Fund Act of 2016, passed on 2nd reading on July 28, 2020 (Enrolled version of Bill 23-760), to inform individuals of the benefits provided for in this act. The Workplace Leave Navigators Program, established pursuant to § 32-561.02, shall be a component of the Mayor's public-education campaign.

(2) The Mayor shall coordinate with the Office of Human Rights and other agencies the Mayor deems appropriate to create an awareness campaign for the paid-leave program established pursuant to this subchapter.

(3) All outreach information shall comply with subchapter II of Chapter 19 of Title 2.


(Apr. 7, 2017, D.C. Law 21-264, § 106, 64 DCR 2121; Dec. 3, 2020, D.C. Law 23-149, § 2143(e), 67 DCR 10493.)

Applicability

Section 7034 of D.C. Law 22-33 repealed § 301 of D.C. Law 21-264. Therefore the changes made to this section by D.C. Law 21-264 have been given effect.

Applicability of D.C. Law 21-264: § 301 of D.C. Law 21-264 provided that the creation of this section by § 106 of D.C. Law 21-264 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) repeal of § 301 of D.C. Law 21-264, see § 7034 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-167, Oct. 24, 2017, 64 DCR 10802).

For temporary (90 days) repeal of § 301 of D.C. Law 21-264, see § 7034 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-104, July 20, 2017, 64 DCR 7032).