In our nation's capital, private sector employees, particularly those in low-paid hourly jobs, should be rejoicing as D.C.'s Council voted to approve the nation's most generous paid-family-leave law. Under the new law, private sector employees, both full and part time, will now be entitled to eight weeks of paid time off after the birth of a child, as well as six weeks to care for a sick family member, and two weeks of sick leave for the worker. The new law does not apply to federal or district government employees.
The paid family leave provides for employees to receive up to $1,000 per week from the city, which is provided for by a payroll tax that employers will be required to pay. It is unclear, however, whether these benefits will supplement, replace, or just be in addition to those provided by private employers. Unfortunately, the new program is not expected to roll out until 2019, and much work still needs to be done to finalize the program.