DC Paid Leave Implementation Update July 2018 – New Regulations Proposed
The DC Office of Paid Family Leave (OPFL), part of the Department of Employment Services (DOES), continues to promulgate regulations to implement the Universal Paid Leave Amendment Act of 2016.
OPFL posted proposed regulations in April, and solicited comments from the public. Those comments are available here. Per OPFL’s web site, “Based on comments received, and the statutory timelines, DOES decided to divide the regulations into two chapters, separating the employer contributions and paid-leave benefits. Additionally, these proposed tax regulations include significant changes from the initial proposed rules in order to address employer registration and responsibilities, opt-in and opt-out procedures for self-employed individuals, wages, and contribution and collection procedures.”
The new proposed regulations that deal with the employer contributions are available here. Comments to the proposed rulemaking can be submitted in writing by August 5, 2018, to the Department of Employment Services, Office of Paid Family Leave, 4058 Minnesota Avenue NE, Washington, DC, 20019, or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The proposed regulations address some of the questions CHAMPS members raised at the paid leave implementation briefing in May. We are still awaiting a copy of the PowerPoint presentation from May, and that will be distributed to CHAMPS members when it becomes available from OPFL.
The proposed regulations clarify items that do not need to be reported as wages, such as:
- an allowance for automobiles, oil, and gas to a salesman required to work in his or her own car over an extended territory, all transit flash passes or tokens; telephone in an employee’s residence for the employer’s convenience; and entertainment money expended on the
- special uniforms that an employee is required to wear and the employer launders or pays for the cost of laundering the uniform;
- discounts provided to covered employees for goods purchased from the covered employer;
- so-called “supper money,” being an allowance for a meal when the
covered employee works overtime.
Employers do need to report all severance payments on quarterly wage statements to OPFL.
In addition to defining the wages that are subject to the .62 percent payroll tax, the proposed regulations also cover:
- how a self-employed individual can opt in or opt out of the paid leave program, the timeframes for opting in and opting out, and the requirements if a self-employed individual opts in;
- outlines contributions by covered employers, including noting that an employer must make contributions even if even if the covered employer provides additional leave benefits to its employees;
- collection procedures, including fines and timeframes for fines for late payments by employers;
- the requirements on the types of notice and frequency with which an employer must make employees aware of paid leave;
- and the record keeping requirements of the employer – which are similar to those for the UI system.
CHAMPS will continue to track implementation of the paid leave bill and will provide updates to members as necessary.