DC council votes in favor of paid family leave proposal
- D.C.’s City Council passed the originally proposed paid leave bill yesterday in a 9-to-4 vote. D.C. Council members Jack Evans and Mary M. Cheh, both Democrats, proposed offsetting the cost with tax credits for those with 70 employees and under, the Washington Post reports, but their version was not the version that made it through the vote.
- The number of paid weeks remains eight weeks for new parents, six weeks to take care of a sick family member and two weeks for personal sick time. The bill will be funded through a 0.62% payroll tax.
- Business leaders vowed to seek the mayor’s veto if the Council passed the bill’s original version.
Paid leave is a highly valued and, in many cases, much-needed benefit for attracting and retaining job candidates. But for many small employers, paid leave is financially burdensome. A tax credit for businesses with 70 or fewer employees might have lifted some of that burden, which is partly why the business community strongly demonstrated its support for the tax-credit proposal.
Mayor Bowser isn’t expected to sign the bill, but that means it may still go into effect. The vote is being called a victory for the city’s progressive council members.
How the paid leave ordinance gets settled merits watching, as it may serve as an example to other cities and states, depending on how its implementation goes.