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FMLA: District of Columbia

FMLA requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Author: Peter J. Petesch, Littler


  • The District of Columbia Family and Medical Leave Act of 1990 (DC FMLA) provides eligible employees with the right to take leave for certain family and medical-related reasons. To the extent federal and state laws differ, whichever law provides greater benefits and protection to the employee will apply. See Covered Employers.
  • While on leave, employees are protected with respect to certain reemployment and benefit rights. See Reinstatement.
  • The DC FMLA differs from the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in several important respects. For instance, it covers more employers than those required to provide leave under FMLA and broadens the definition of who constitutes a family member for purposes of determining whether an employee is entitled to take time off to care for that family member. See Covered Employers; Purposes and Length of Leave.
  • Paid sick leave is available to eligible employees, and the amount of paid sick leave available varies by the size of the employer and the amount of hours the employee works. See Paid Sick Leave.
  • Employers may be required to provide time off to recover from childbirth as a reasonable accommodation. See Pregnancy-Related Accommodations.
  • The District of Columbia has enacted the Universal Paid Leave Amendment Act of 2016, which provides employees with paid parental, family and medical leave benefits that are funded by employer contributions. See Paid Family and Medical Leave.