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February 08, 2008
District of Columbia Mulls Paid Sick Leave Mandate

The City Council of Washington, D.C., has voted in favor of legislation that would require employers to offer employees paid sick leave. Before the legislation can reach the mayor's desk, however, the council must approve the legislation again in a second vote next month.

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The Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act would require employers in the District of Columbia to provide up to 7 days of paid leave to employees for physical or mental illness, preventive medical care, family care, parental leave, and absences associated with domestic violence or sexual violence abuse.

The number of paid sick leave employers would be required to provide would depend on how many employees they have. Under the Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act, individuals at employers with 100 or more employees would be able to accrue up to 7 days of paid leave per year. Workers at employers with 25 to 99 employees would be able to accrue up to 5 days of such leave per year. Employees at smaller employers would be able to accrue up to 3 days of paid leave per year.

If the District of Columbia approves the legislation, it would become the second jurisdiction to require employers to offer paid sick leave. In November 2006, voters in San Francisco approved Proposition F, making the city the first to require employers to offer paid sick leave. The ordinance in San Francisco requires employers to give 1 hour of paid sick leave to an employee for every 30 hours worked.

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