Starting in July 2022, the District of Columbia began providing workers with up to 12 weeks of paid family leave for parental, medical, and family caregiving needs. In July 2020, the DC Paid Family Leave law was implemented and provided up to eight weeks of paid parental leave and up to six weeks of paid family leave. It is estimated that expanding leave to up to 12 weeks could benefit half a million workers and their families. By analyzing the DC Department of Employment Services data and other administrative data, the study will seek to understand the extent to which workers have taken such leave and for what reasons, and the impact of leave on the physical and mental health outcomes and economic well-being of workers and families between July 2020 and the 2022 expansion. This study will also explore the correlation of paid leave use with income and residence in Wards 7 and 8. To supplement the quantitative data, the research team will hold focus groups with residents across the city.
Finally, this study will use the 2018 Federal Medical Leave Survey and the Medical Expenditures Panel Surveys restricted data file, which contains new data on paid and unpaid leave, to explore the relationship between the availability and use of paid sick leave and its impact on job retention, household finances, and health. The study will aim to understand the family health effects of policies that improve workers’ ability to provide parental and family care.