Paid Family Leave: Information for Employers
On July 1, 2019, the District began collecting taxes from all local employers to fund the Paid Family Leave benefit. The payroll tax will be paid by covered employers, even if you provide additional leave benefits to your workers.
On July 1, 2020, the District will begin administering Paid Family Leave benefits to workers. The Office of Paid Family Leave (OPFL) is currently working to define the program’s rules and regulations.
In the end, this levels the playing field for small businesses. Many of us want to offer Paid Family Leave to our workers, but we just can't afford to do so on our own. -DC Small Business Owner
What does Paid Family Leave mean for DC employers?
Doing business in DC and offering Paid Family Leave to workers makes local employers more competitive. Smaller businesses can offer the same benefits as larger companies, and DC businesses are more attractive than those in other states.
Other cities implementing Paid Family Leave policies have found that employers benefit from decreased turnover and higher retention. This reduces costs related to hiring and training new workers, and also increases the morale of workers, according to the Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative.
As an employer of workers in DC, what do I need to do?
- Contribute to the Paid Leave Implementation Fund Paid Family Leave benefit payments are funded by a 0.62% quarterly payroll tax based on the immediate past quarter of gross or total wages paid, much like the unemployment insurance tax.
- ACH Debit via Employer Self Service Portal (ESSP) Electronic payments should be submitted through ESSP.
- Check payment via Employer Self Service Portal (ESSP) Electronic payments should be submitted through ESSP. Check payments made through ESSP must accompany the PFL Payment Vouchers that is generated through ESSP and must be mailed to the Lockbox for Wells Fargo to process.
- Voucher and check/money order payment to the lockbox address: DC Government Paid Family Leave, PO Box 98269, Washington, DC 20090
- Manual paper check payment via mail The PFL-30 forms will not be accepted at our lockbox address however, those forms must be mailed to the DOES headquarter address. The PFL Tax Department will receive PFL- 30 forms that may accompany employer check payments. In these instances, checks are manually logged in for record keeping and then transferred to the safe immediately. Staff will process the PFL-30 form and then forward the checks to the Lockbox within 24-48 business hours of office receipt as required by OCFO.
- PFL30 and PFL payment to the DOES headquarter address: Office of Paid Family Leave, Tax Division, Suite 4300A, 4058 Minnesota Avenue NE, Washington DC 20019
- All checks must be made payable to “DC Treasurer”
- Establish an account on the DOES online portal Quarterly wage reports and tax payments are submitted through an online portal, which will be available to employers prior to the beginning of the collection of the payroll tax.
- Post an employee notice Notice about Paid Family Leave must be posted in a place that is accessible to all workers.
- Inform your workers about Paid Family Leave Share information upon hiring, annually for all workers, and when Paid Family Leave is needed.
- Maintain documentation Record your workers’ wages and related communications.
Resources for Employers
Potential Impact of Paid Family Leave
Research from Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative shows that Paid Family Leave can boost morale among workers. Happier workers are more motivated and efficient, which improve a business’ success and stability.
Prevent Lost Wages
Without Paid Family Leave, women are discouraged from staying in the workforce so they can care for family members. As a result, they can lose an estimated $274,044 in lifetime wages, according to a study by the MetLife Mature Market Institute.
Some employers in California, New Jersey, and Rhode Island were initially resistant to implementing a Paid Family Leave policy. But after implementation, surveys of employers showed they were more likely to have positive or neutral views than negative views, according to research by the National Bureau of Economic Research.