Office of Human Rights

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This webpage was last updated on August 25, 2021.

On May 27, 2020, the Mayor signed the Coronavirus Support Emergency Act (CSEA), D.C. Act 23-326, which replaced all previous Coronavirus-related legislation and in part temporarily amended the DCFMLA to create a new COVID-19 job-protected leave. In addition to other subsequent legislation, on July 24, 2021, the Mayor signed emergency legislation, D.C. Act 24-125, extending COVID -19 leave through November 5, 2021. This guidance is confined to COVID -19 Leave under the DCFMLA; however, other federal or District laws may also provide leave rights.  


  1. COVID-19 Leave (D.C. Code § 32-502.01): From March 11, 2020, through November 5, 2021, an employee who has worked for 30 days for an employer of any size may use up to 16 weeks of “COVID-19” Leave for one of the following reasons: Care for Self, Family or Household Member or Childcare Closure. The right to COVID-19 Leave terminates on November 5, 2021, even If an employee has not exhausted the 16-week entitlement.
  2. Certification (D.C. Code § 32-502.01(c)):  For COVID-19 Leave, an employer may request certification of the need for leave, including a signed, dated letter from a healthcare provider, including a probable duration, or a statement by a childcare provider or a printed statement from the childcare provider’s website.
  3. Penalties: Violation of the COVID-19 Leave provision (D.C. Code § 32-502.01) could result in a civil penalty of $1000 per offense in addition to any damages outlined in D.C. Code § 32-509.
  4. Effective Dates: CSEA was signed by the Mayor on May 27, 2020, with retroactive coverage from March 11, 2020.  The law is, therefore, effective as of March 11, 2020, and is currently effective through November 5, 2021.
  5. No Effect on Traditional Family and Medical Leave: CSEA does not change the definitions of employer and employee or eligibility for traditional family and medical leave entitlements, i.e., the employee must have worked for one year without a break in service and at least 1,000 hours in the preceding twelve months, and only employers with 20 or more employees are covered. Guidance on traditional family and medical leave can be found at: ohr.dc.gov/page/OHRGuidance.


For the latest updates on the District's response to Coronavirus (COVID-19), visit coronavirus.dc.gov.