Download a PDF of this piece

The District of Columbia Office of Paid Family Leave (“OPFL”) recently launched a website to help employers and employees prepare for the new Paid Family Leave (“PFL”) benefit. On July 1, 2019, the OPFL will begin collecting payroll taxes from employers for the quarter ending June 30, 2019, which will fund the benefits available under the Universal Paid Leave Amendment Act of 2016 (“Act”) starting July 1, 2020. Any business performing services in the District of Columbia that also pays unemployment insurances taxes for its employees will be required to pay payroll taxes for the PFL benefit by contributing to a Paid Leave Implementation Fund (“Fund”). There is no minimum employee threshold for employers to be required to contribute to the benefit. The payroll tax will be 0.62 percent of covered employees’ wages. Separate provisions apply to self-employed individuals who wish to participate in receiving the benefit.

The new website provides the maximum allowance for PFL under the different circumstances in which leave must be granted, an employer quiz regarding employer obligations under the PFL benefit, an announcement of the new benefit in both English and Spanish, and a quarterly tax calculator to help employers estimate their tax obligations under the benefit. The website also includes registration links for employers to take part in webinar presentations regarding the PFL benefit. Additionally, there are several resources to assist employers in complying with the new benefit and the accompanying tax, including the following:

  • Employer Toolkit
  • Previous PFL Employer Webinar Recording
  • PFL Employer Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQ”)
  • PFL Final Contribution Regulations (i.e., proposed final rules on the tax collection procedures pursuant to the Act)
  • PFL Message for Employers
  • Self-Employed Individual FAQ
  • Universal PFL Q1 FY19 Report
  • Universal PFL Q2 FY19 Report

The OPFL has issued a “Public Notice” to D.C. employers and employees in English and Spanish; however, the Public Notice is not the notice/poster that will need to be posted/distributed to employees to inform them of their rights under the Act. The OPFL will prepare a version of this latter notice/poster, but it will not require employers to obtain a signed acknowledgement from their employees. As the OPFL has stated that employers will be responsible for posting the notice/poster in a conspicuous place in their workplace starting July 1, 2019, we presume it will be available soon. In addition to being posted in the workplace, the notice/poster must be provided in either a physical copy or an electronic version (i) when an employee is hired, (ii) annually, and (iii) when an employee requests PFL.

What D.C. Employers Should Do Now

  • Review the OPFL’s new website to learn more about the PFL benefit.
  • Use the form at the bottom of the OPFL home page to sign up to receive regular electronic updates.
  • Prepare to contribute to the Fund, which may require coordinating with your payroll provider.
  • Update your contact information on the Employer Self-Service Portal, which is used for unemployment insurance, or register an account if you do not already have one.
  • Prepare to post the employee notice/poster.
  • Prepare to inform your workers about PFL.
  • Maintain documentation of employees’ wages and related communications.


For more information about this Advisory, please contact:

Brian W. Steinbach
Washington, D.C.

Nathaniel M. Glasser
Washington, D.C.

Nancy Gunzenhauser Popper
New York

Corben J. Greena Law Clerk – Admission Pending (not admitted to the practice of law), in the firm’s New York office, contributed significantly to the preparation of this Advisory.

Jump to Page

Privacy Preference Center

When you visit any website, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences or your device and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalized web experience. Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer.

Strictly Necessary Cookies

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.

Performance Cookies

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.