“We congratulate the DC Paid Leave Campaign, especially Jews United for Justice, for more than two years of activism to make DC the fifth location in the U.S. with comprehensive paid family and medical leave for all workers, following in the footsteps of California, New Jersey, Rhode Island and New York. While we are disheartened by DC Mayor Bowser’s decision not to sign DC’s Universal Paid Leave Act (UPLA), we are thrilled that it will still be enacted given her signature is not required for it to become law. The bill will ultimately guarantee nearly 530,000 workers the ability to take the time they need to care for themselves and their loved ones without falling into financial hardship.
“This win would not have been possible without the tremendous work of the DC Paid Leave Campaign, a broad and diverse group of organizations, businesses and residents with a common goal of passing a measure that benefits people employed in the District. All of us at Family Values @ Work commend our DC partners for this impressive victory.
“No one should have to choose between caring for themselves or a loved one and putting food on the table. Now that the bill has passed this final hurdle, DC workers, regardless of gender, will be eligible for eight weeks of paid parental leave to care for a newborn, adopted or foster child, six weeks to provide care for a seriously ill family member and two weeks of personal medical leave, a provision that had been hotly contested in earlier drafts of the bill. When implemented, the law will also include the best model to date of wage replacement, guaranteeing 90 percent of wages for people earning up to 150 percent of minimum wage.
“While we applaud DC for its leadership on this issue, it is important to note that the eight weeks proposed for parental leave falls short of the 12 weeks recommended by doctors to be sufficient to care for infants during this critical time in their lives. It is also important to address the bill’s inadequate length of time for caring for a personal health condition.
“Business leaders, council members and workers alike agree that paid leave results in stronger families, stronger businesses, a stronger economy and improved public health.
“We commend DC, especially Councilmembers Silverman and Grosso and Chairman Mendelson, for their leadership and for ensuring DC leads on leave.”