Latest update in series:
What’s Next for Employers After the Supreme Court’s Vaccine Rulings?
(January 14, 2022)
Related webinar replays:
OSHA ETS Employee COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Mandates New Requirements,
Tips and Traps for Large Employers (November 10, 2021)
COVID-19 Employee Vaccine and Testing Mandates New Requirements for Large
Employers, Federal Contractors and Healthcare Organizations (September 16,
On Nov. 18, 2021, Washington, D.C.,
amended the Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act of 2008
(ASSLA) to provide paid time off for COVID-19 vaccinations and recovery.
the new law requires D.C. employers to provide up to two hours of paid leave per
injection of either the employee or a child under the age of 18 who lives
with the employee. Moreover, employers must provide vaccination recovery
leave. This consists of up to eight hours of leave during the 24-hour
period following the two-hour vaccination leave period. The purpose of the
leave is for the employee to recover or care for a child recovering from
the side effects from a COVID-19 vaccination. Employers must provide up to
48 hours of combined vaccination and recovery leave in a year. Initial
injections, second doses and boosters are all covered by the law.
Employees are eligible for this leave if they began working for the
employer at least 15 days before the requested leave. Under ASSLA, covered
employees also must spend at least 50 percent of their time working in D.C.
(or must be based in D.C. and spend a substantial part of working time in
D.C. if the employee does not spend more than 50 percent of working time in
any particular state).
This leave supplements the paid leave already provided under ASSLA. It also
must be offered in addition to any other paid leave an employer provides an
employee under an existing leave policy, unless the existing leave policy
exclusively and expressly provides COVID-19 vaccination and recovery leave
in an amount equal to or greater than the amount provided by the amended
ASSLA and does not otherwise reduce an employee’s available paid leave.
Employees taking such leave must be compensated at their regular rate of
Employers may require up to 48 hours’ notice of the need for leave, except
that an employee may take leave in the event of an emergency, upon
reasonable notice. Employers also may request, upon the employee’s return
to work, reasonable documentation of the need for leave. This may include a
vaccination record or other documentation attesting to the date and time of
the vaccination injection. Employers cannot require employees to search for
or identify another person to perform the work of the employee taking
For questions about these changes, or about any other D.C. employment law,
contact the authors of this article or another member of the McGuireWoods
labor and employment team.
Download the Employer’s Guide to D.C. Employment Statutes
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comprehensive online guide to help companies navigate the complex employment laws of Washington, D.C.
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resources professionals, in-house counsel and small-business owners avoid
pitfalls and obtain answers to common questions about the District’s