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DC Council Includes New Leave for Employees in COVID-19 Response Legislation

As part of the COVID-19 Response Emergency Amendment Act of 2020 passed by the D.C. Council and signed by the Mayor on March 17, 2020, D.C. has temporarily amended the DC Family and Medical Leave Act, effective immediately. The new legislation provides that all employers, regardless of number of employees, must provide their DC employees, regardless of the length or number of hours of service, with Declaration of Emergency (“DOE”) leave during declared public health emergencies such as that for COVID-19.

DOE leave is available during the period of emergency if the employee is unable to work because of a recommendation from the Mayor, Department of Health, any other District or federal agency, or a medical professional that the employee self-quarantine or self-isolate. DOE leave provides job protected unpaid leave to affected employees.

Other jurisdictions are similarly enacting emergency legislation to provide temporary leave to employees working in their states who are affected by the coronavirus.

If you have questions about any of the new laws being enacted, please contact us.


This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information about the subject matter covered. It is not distributed with the intent to render legal, accounting, or other professional advice. The services of a competent professional should be sought if legal advice or other expert assistance is required.