Code of the District of Columbia

§ 32–502.01. COVID-19 leave.

*NOTE: This section was created by emergency legislation that will expire on February 3, 2022.*

(a) Beginning on November 5, 2021, an employee shall be entitled to leave if the employee is unable to work because the employee:

(1) Has tested positive for COVID-19 or is caring for a family member or individual with whom the employee shares a household who has tested positive for COVID-19 and must quarantine pursuant to Department of Health guidelines;

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

(3) Must care for a family member or an individual with whom the employee shares a household, who is isolating or quarantining pursuant to Department of Health guidance, the recommendation of a health care provider, or the order or policy of the family member's or individual's school or childcare provider; or

(4) Must care for a child whose school or place of care is closed or whose childcare provider is unavailable to the employee due to COVID-19.

(b) An employee may use no more than 16 weeks of leave pursuant to this section in the 2-year period beginning on November 18, 2021.

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

(1) If the leave is needed due to a positive COVID-19 test of the employee or employee's family or household member, a copy of such test results with the date;

(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 necessitated because of Department of Health guidance, a copy of such guidance and other supporting documentation that demonstrates the need for leave at the time it is taken or requested;

(4) If the leave is needed because a child must quarantine due to school or childcare provider policy or orders, a copy of that policy or a dated statement from the head or administration of the school or childcare provider stating such need to quarantine or isolate or providing information and a dated copy of a communication to or from the school or childcare provider indicating the child had to quarantine; or

(5) If the leave is needed because a school, place of care, or childcare provider is unavailable due to COVID-19, 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) An employer may require an employee to provide reasonable advance notice of leave taken under section; provided, that in the event of an emergency or an unforeseen need to use the leave an employer may not require an employee to provide advance notice of the employee's need to use leave, but may require notice to be provided as soon as reasonably practicable after leave is taken, but in no event fewer than 24 hours after leave is taken.

(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 total workweeks of allowable leave provided in subchapter III of this chapter.

(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 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 § 32-531.05 shall apply to an employee who takes leave pursuant to this section.

(g) An employer who willfully violates subsection (a), (b), (c), (d), or (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" means the disease caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.