FMLA in Washington D.C. is little different than a number of states that have decided to supplement existing federal FMLA regulations. Some of the main differences are that the D.C. Family and Medical Leave Act (DCFMLA) requires employers with twenty or more employees in the District of Columbia to provide sixteen weeks of job-protected “medical” leave to qualified employees with a serious health condition every 24 months.  An employee is also entitled to up to sixteen weeks of “family” leave during a 24-month period. FMLA in Washington D.C. also sees a variance in that in order to qualify for DCFMLA family and medical leave, an employee must have (1) been employed by the employer for at least one year without a break in service and (2) worked for at least 1,000 hours, during the 12-month period immediately preceding the requested medical leave

FMLA in Washington D.C. also differs in the fact that, if an employee “assumes and discharges parental responsibility” for a child who lives with him or her, the child is considered a family member under the statute.  Also, a person is considered a family member if the employee lives or has lived with the person in the past year and “maintains a committed relationship” with the person. The DCFMLA provides a definition of “committed relationship,” which focuses on economic interdependence, rather than “marriage” or gender orientation. DCFMLA leave is unpaid leave.  An employee may, at his or her election, take available paid vacation or sick leave while on DCFMLA leave in order to receive pay during the leave.  If an employee elects to take paid leave while on DCFMLA leave, the paid leave and the DCFMLA run concurrently and the employee is not allowed to add on a full sixteen weeks of unpaid DCFMLA leave after the employee’s paid leave is exhausted. However, unlike under the FMLA, an employer subject to the DCFMLA generally may not require the employee to use his or her paid leave while on DCFMLA leave. FMLA in Washington D.C. is also different under DCFMLA in the under the condition that an employee is entitled to family leave in order to attend specified school and family functions.

FMLA in Washington D.C. can be considered confusing and the Supreme Court’s June 26, 2013 decision to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act’s definition of marriage and place that determination in the hands of individual states is sure to add to it. But recent six-figure judgments against employers for failure to comply reinforce the fact that misunderstanding nor ignorance are valid legal defenses. And with the most recent average cost of FMLA lawsuit defense running near $80,000 regardless of outcome, the only clear cut solution for compliance with FMLA in Washington D.C. is an absence administration system that is efficient, cost-effective, and user-friendly.

Compliance with FMLA in Washington D.C. is as simple as implementation of Qcera’s cloud-based, LeaveSource™ software, which has provided covered employers with exactly that solution for more than thirteen years. And with LeaveSource™ products, seamless compliance extends not only to federal FMLA and DCFMLA, but also to any state leave requirements applicable based on a specific employee’s work location, as well as any company specific leave policies. FMLA in Washington D.C. is not a four-letter word. Check out LeaveSource™ solutions at www.LeaveSource.com or click on the red button above to request a demonstration.

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