District of Columbia Paid Family Leave
Effective April 1, 2019, most employers who employ workers in the state of District of Columbia will be subject to District of Columbia Paid Family Leave (“PFL”) tax. Covered employers will be required to contribute an amount equal to 0.62 percent of the wages of each of its covered employees. Benefits become available to eligible employees July 1, 2020.
***The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services (“DES”) is still in the process of developing the PFL rules. Please note that the following FAQs are subject to change. More information is available on the PFL website here. ***
Which employers are required to participate in PFL?
Business who pay employees who perform services in the District of Columbia are required to pay the PFL tax.
Is the client or Cast & Crew considered the “employer” for purposes of PFL administration and compliance?
Clients are the employers for purposes of complying with PFL. Cast & Crew handles certain administrative aspects of the program for the benefit of clients and may sometimes be referred to as a “payroll employer.” Cast & Crew will calculate and bill the clients for the PFL premium and will report and remit information and payment to the DES as required. Nonetheless, clients are responsible for complying with all other employer duties under the law including funding, notice and posting requirements. Clients can learn more about their duties under the law on the PFL website here.
Which employees are covered under PFL?
Most employees who work in D.C. are covered by PFL. Eligibility for PFL benefits depends on the employee’s work performed in D.C. Employees who spend more than 50 percent of their time working in the D.C. for some or all of the 52-week period preceding leave are eligible for PFL.
How is PFML funded?
PFL is funded by a quarterly employer payroll tax of 0.62 percent of covered employees’ total wages. Quarterly contributions are based on the immediately preceding quarter of wages paid, similar to unemployment insurance tax. The first employer deadline is July 1, 2019 for wages paid to employees beginning April 1, 2019.
Who administers the PFML program?
The PFL program is administered by the Office of Paid Family Leave within the District of Columbia Department of Employment Services. The DES will determine questions of eligibility, benefit amount and usage, and wage replacement. Cast & Crew will remit required premiums and report employee wages and hours worked to the DES on a quarterly basis as required. The reporting rules are still in development.
Is waiver from PFL permitted?
No. PFL is mandatory and there is no waiver from participation at this time.
How do employees apply for and receive benefits under PFL?
Benefit payments are issued to eligible employees directly from the DES. Benefits become available to employees on July 1, 2020. The process of claiming benefits under PFML is still in development.
What are permissible reasons for leave under PFL?
PFL Qualifying events for PFL include parental leave, family leave or medical leave. Parental leave covers the birth of a child, adoption or foster placement of a child. Family leave covers the diagnosis or occurrence of a serious health condition of an employee’s family member. Qualifying medical leave covers the diagnosis or occurrence of an employee’s own serious health condition.
What does the PFL benefit provide?
PFL provides wage replacement for employees on leave for family or medical reasons. PFL benefits are calculated based on the employee’s average weekly wage. If an employee has multiple sources of income, the wages may be combined to determine an average weekly wage. The current maximum weekly benefit amount is $1,000.
If you have any questions, please email Compliance@castandcrew.com.
The proceeding information is provided for informational purposes only, should not be construed as or relied upon as legal advice and is subject to change without notice. If you have questions concerning particular situations, specific payroll administration or labor relations issues, please contact your counsel.