On Tuesday the DC Council held a hearing on potential changes to the paid leave bill passed in December of 2016.

The hearing addressed five potential amendments to the legislation. City Administrator Rashad Young spoke to the economic and bureaucratic effort needed to create the government-administrated program in the current legislation. Young said a newly created office will need 115 employees at a cost of between $9-11.5 million annually. He also testified that the IT system would likely exceed the $40 million the Council allocated for the program.

If unchanged, the current law will go into effect and all DC employers will be subject to the 0.62% payroll tax on all employees on July 1, 2019. Employees would not be able to access the paid leave benefit until July 1, 2020 at a minimum, but very likely longer as technical delays are common with new government programs. Administrator Young testified delays in implementation and availability of leave are increasingly likely the longer the Council waits to make a final decision.

The 12-hour hearing included testimony from many DC associations, including the DC Chamber of Commerce and the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area. ASAE’s comments for the record can be found here. ASAE believes an employer mandate model would best serve employees and employers.

Council member Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3) said, “None of these five bills significantly change the types of amount of leave to which an employee will be entitled under the law. They affect only the way the program will be administered, how the costs will be allocated, and whether the people who are the beneficiaries will have some obligation to bear the cost.”

For more information, contact the ASAE Public Policy team at publicpolicy@asaecenter.org.