Business Group Blog

State and Local Paid Leave Laws Cause Compliance Headaches for Employers


Washington D.C. recently enacted an ordinance that that will provide employees with 2 to 8 weeks of paid parental and family leave beginning July 1, 2020. Unlike other state-established parental leave programs funded by employees (e.g. California, New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island), the District’s new program will increase employer payroll taxes by .62%.

Apart from paid parental or family leave, a number of cities and states have enacted laws requiring employers to offer paid sick leave to employees. Each state and local government law varies, increasing administrative burden and causing compliance headaches for large multi-state employers, many of which already provide generous paid leave programs for employees. More states and cities are considering legislation in 2017 to mandate paid sick leave.

State and Local Laws on Mandated Paid Leave


Our organization, which represents mainly large employers that voluntarily provide generous health benefits, paid leave and other health programs to over 55 million American employees, retirees, and their families, recognizes the need for family-friendly benefits. However, we do not support mandated PSL as it increases administrative burden, jeopardizes existing leave benefits and limits employers’ flexibility to design leave benefits packages for their unique workforces.

We support national uniform mandated paid leave policies that simplify employer administration. However, given that it is unlikely to happen, we support state efforts to have a uniform statewide policy that prevents municipalities and counties from enacting disparate policies.

Employers can take steps to make sure they are compliant with state and local laws:

  • Check with their legal counsel to ensure they are in compliance with the various state and local laws.
  • Work with other local employers, regional Chambers of Commerce and their government relations team if they want influence proposed legislation.
  • Review mandated paid sick and parental leave tools and resources listed below.

The Business Group has developed a number of resources and tools to help our members identify and track the growing the growing number of state and local paid sick and parental leave requirements.

Members—for more information on the topic, see the resources below.