Tax News Update    Email this document    Print this document  

October 25, 2021

District of Columbia extends temporary COVID-19 paid sick and family leave provisions through November 5, 2021

The District of Columbia has extended through November 5, 2021 the COVID-19 emergency provisions for paid sick leave under D.C. Code §32-531.02a and for family leave under D.C. Code §32-501.

COVID-19 emergency paid sick leave

Under a temporary expansion of the DC Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act (ASSLA), which is effective April 10, 2020 through November 5, 2021, DC employers (other than healthcare providers) with between 50 and 499 employees must provide full-time employees who have worked for the employer for at least 15 days with up to 80 hours of emergency paid leave. Part-time employees are entitled to the usual number of hours they work in a two-week period.

Emergency paid sick leave must be paid at the employee's regular rate of pay. If the employee does not have a regular rate of pay, the pay rate is determined by dividing the employee's total gross earnings, including all tips, commission, or other earnings for the most recent two-week period the employee worked, by the number of hours the employee worked during that two-week period.

Emergency paid sick leave is available for the following purposes:

For an employee's own care when:

  • Obtaining a medical diagnosis or care due to COVID-19 symptoms
  • Self-quarantining under guidance from a heath care professional
  • Self-quarantining under guidance from a federal, state or local public health official

For the employee to care for someone else when:

  • An individual is self-isolating because of a medical diagnosis or COVID-19 symptoms
  • A child's school or childcare facility is closed (including a child whose nanny or individual care provider is unavailable due to COVID-19)

COVID-19 leave under the DC Family and Medical Leave Act

Effective March 11, 2020 through November 5, 2021, the Coronavirus Support Emergency Act (CSEA) requires that DC employees who have worked 30 days or more for an employer of any size be allowed to use up to 16 weeks of COVID-19 leave to care for themselves, a family or household member or a child due to a childcare closure.

The law does not require employers to provide paid leave. Employees may use accrued leave to pay for their leave or take the leave as unpaid. If an employee elects to use otherwise available paid leave benefits while on COVID-19 eligible leave, such period of leave counts against the 16-week entitlement. Consistent with D.C. Code § 32-514, to the extent feasible, an employee and employer may mutually agree to a telework arrangement in lieu of the employee taking unpaid leave under the DCFMLA.

An employer may request certification of the need for leave, including a signed, dated letter from a healthcare provider that indicates a probable duration, or a statement by a childcare provider or a printed statement from the childcare provider's website.

CSEA does not change the definitions of employer and employee or eligibility for traditional family and medical leave entitlements, i.e., the employee must have worked for one year without a break in service and at least 1,000 hours in the preceding 12 months, and only employers with 20 or more employees are covered.

Guidance governing the traditional DC Family and Medical Leave Act is available here.

Frequency asked questions about the CSEA are available here.


Contact Information
For additional information concerning this Alert, please contact:
Workforce Tax Services - Employment Tax Advisory Services
   • Kristie Lowery (
   • Kenneth Hausser (
   • Debera Salam (


EY Payroll News Flash