COVID-19 Support Emergency Amendment Act
On May 27, 2020, Mayor Muriel Bowser signed the District of Columbia COVID-19 Support Emergency Amendment Act, which temporary amends the District of Columbia Family and Medical Leave Act. The legislation is scheduled to end May 22, 2021. Under the legislation, an employee who has worked for 30 days for an employer of any size may use up to 16 weeks of COVID-19 leave for one of the following reasons:
- Care for self: a recommendation from a healthcare provider to quarantine or isolate, including because the employee or an employee’s household member is high risk for serious illness from COVID-19.
- Care for family or household member: a need to care for a family member or a member of the employee’s household pursuant to a government or healthcare provider’s order to quarantine or isolate; or
- Childcare closure: a need to care for a child whose childcare facility is closed or childcare provider is unavailable.
The right to COVID-19 leave terminates when the public health emergency ends, even if an employee has not exhausted the 16-week entitlement. An employer may request certification of the need for leave. Employees may choose to use accrued leave to pay for their leave or take the leave as unpaid. Violation of the COVID-19 leave provision could result in a civil penalty of $1000 per offense.
All employers are required to inform employees of this leave during the declared state of public health emergency. The District of Columbia COVID-19 Leave Poster must be displayed in a conspicuous place. Employers must also notify an eligible employee of COVID-19 leave as soon as he or she becomes eligible or may become eligible under the prescribed circumstances.