ASAE Testifies on DC’s Proposed Paid Leave Act
In its testimony, ASAE urged the DC Council to ease any undue burden on association employers and employees in the city.
Last week, ASAE urged the DC Council to reconsider provisions of a proposed law that, if passed, would be the most generous family-leave law in the country.
The District’s 26-page Universal Paid Leave Act of 2015 [PDF] was introduced Oct. 6, and, if enacted, would provide nearly every full-time or part-time employee in the District up to 16 weeks of paid leave to recover from an illness, bond with a new child, or care for a sick relative.
In its testimony [PDF], ASAE urged the Council to eliminate ambiguity in the proposed bill and ease any undue burden on the city’s association employers and employees.
For example, the bill is unclear as to whether it creates a paid leave entitlement of 16 weeks per 12-month period or 32 weeks per 12-month period because medical leave benefits and family leave benefits are addressed separately. Thus, “a fair reading of the bill suggests that it would create a right to up to a combined 32 weeks of paid family and medical leave benefits during a 12-month period.”
Additionally, the broad worker benefit, developed with help from the Obama Administration, would be paid for with a tax on DC employers of up to 1 percent of employees’ salaries. District residents who work for employers in Maryland, Virginia, or other nearby jurisdictions would also be forced to contribute to the paid leave fund at the same scaled percentage contribution rate.
“Our concern is that the District’s proposed paid leave act would put undue financial stress on the city’s small employers and on District-residing employees who work for employers in the surrounding metropolitan area,” said ASAE President and CEO John H. Graham IV, FASAE, CAE. “A much less burdensome solution would be to conform the structure of the act to established structures of existing employment and leave laws in the District.”