Councilmember Cheh files an amendment to the Universal Paid Leave Act

Amendment would require covered employees and employers to split the fee designated for the Universal Paid Leave Implementation Fund

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, June 7th, Councilmember Cheh (D-Ward 3) introduced an amendment to the Universal Paid Leave Act (UPLA) which would apportion the responsibility of paying into the Universal Paid Leave Implementation Fund between employers and employees.

UPLA’s present structure requires an employer to pay a tax equal to 0.62% of each employee’s wages into the implementation fund. Employees do not pay any part of the tax. Because the current UPLA is funded through a tax, restrictions in the Home Rule Act prevent taxes to be imposed on non-District residents. A major criticism of UPLA was that 2/3 of the benefits would go directly to non-District residents who would not have to contribute anything to the program. By contouring the original bill’s imposition of a tax into an assessment of a fee, which is allowed under Home Rule, this amendment permits non-resident District employees to pay their fair share for benefits they may receive.

“Under the current law, the onus of funding Universal Paid Leave Act rests solely on the shoulders of the employer. Placing the entire funding burden on businesses –many of which already struggle to operate in the District— is unfair and threatens the long-term success of our effort to establish a generous parental and family leave policy. Sharing the costs of the Universal Paid Leave Act among employers and all resident and commuter employees is, I believe, a more sustainable and reasonable way to move forward in providing these benefits,” said Councilmember Cheh.

The “Universal Paid Leave Amendment Act of 2017” would require covered employers to pay a fee equal to 0.2% of each covered employee’s wages into the fund while requiring all covered employees to pay a fee equal to 0.46% of their wages into the fund.


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