Center for American Progress

STATEMENT: CAP’s Jocelyn Frye on D.C. Council Passing Paid Leave Bill
Press Statement

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Council of the District of Columbia passed a paid leave bill that would create the most generous paid leave program in the United States. The bill—which provides private employees working in the District of Columbia up to eight week of paid leave to welcome a new child, six weeks of paid leave to care for a seriously ill family member, and two weeks of temporary disability leave to tend to a serious personal medical concern—passed 9-4.

Jocelyn Frye, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:

The passage of a strong paid family and medical leave bill by the D.C. Council is a major victory for the district’s working families and represents critical progress in the fight to expand paid leave to more workers. Paid family and medical leave helps businesses and workers alike: It helps workers care for their families without putting their economic stability at risk, and it helps businesses retain talented workers and increase productivity. It is critical to adopt modern workplace policies that recognize the changing needs of families. More workers in the district can now breathe a sigh of relief knowing that they no longer need to choose between receiving a paycheck and caring for a loved one, tending to their own serious illness, or welcoming a new child.

However, although there has been growing momentum at the state and local levels to expand access to family-friendly policies such a paid family leave and paid sick leave, much work remains. Far too many workers across the country still lack access to any form of paid leave and, without it, are often forced to make daunting decisions that weigh heavy on their professional and family lives. It’s well past time Congress ensure that all families—regardless of ZIP code—have access to these protections.

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For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact Chelsea Kiene at [email protected] or 202.478.5328.