A new bill in Washington D.C. was just passed that will offer welcomed benefits to low-wage workers. Many low-wage workers cannot afford to take time off to welcome a new baby. The new law has extended weeks of leave to 8 weeks for birth, adoption or fostering and also includes up to 90 percent of wages to be paid during the leave.
The new law extends to both full-time and part-time workers who work in the city. This includes workers in the private sector (not city or federal government), including non-profit workers and those who are self-employed.
Summarization of new law for city workers in D.C.
- Applies to anyone earning up to 1.5 times the minimum wage
- Includes 90 percent pay replacement
- Includes 8 weeks leave for birth, adoption, or fostering
- Applies to part-time and full-time city workers
- Includes additional 6 weeks of family leave to look after a sick relative
- Includes additional two weeks for a personal medical emergency
How the new law is going to help low-wage workers
The new law is a big improvement that will especially be welcomed by low-income workers in the city. Currently, only 12 percent of American workers are offered paid leave through their employers. Federal law requires that companies offer employees 12 weeks of unpaid maternity leave, but only to full-time workers at companies with over 50 employees. This makes it very difficult for low-wage employees to afford taking time off for parental leave.
According to a recent Forbes article, the U.S. is the only developed country in the world that has no laws guaranteeing paid parental leave of any kind.
For more details about the bill, visit www.dcpaidfamilyleave.org