The Catholic University of America

Family and Medical Leave


DC Parental Leave Act, DC Code 32-521.01 et seq.


Employers in the District are required to provide up to 24 hours of leave during any 12-month period to an employee for the purpose of the employee's attendance or participation in school-related events for his or her child. Parent under this law means the natural mother or father of the child; a person who has legal custody of the child; a person who acts as a guardian of the child, regardless of whether he or she is legally appointed; an aunt, uncle, or grandparent of a child, and a person who is married to, on in a domestic partnership with a person listed above. This law also incorporates an additional day of leave for a covered employee in DC each year on April 16th, the District of Columbia Emancipation Day. 

The event must be sponsored by the school or an associated organization such as the PTA, and the child must be a participant in, or subject of the event. For example, the child might be in a school play, or the child might be the subject of a parent-teacher conference.

The employer may deny the leave only if granting the leave would disrupt the employer's business and make the achievement of production or delivery of services unusually difficult. When the need for leave can be foreseen, the employee must request the leave 10 calendar days in advance of the event. The leave will be unpaid leave unless the employee chooses to use vacation leave. An employee taking employer-approved leave under this law should not lose any employment benefit.

Employers must post the prescribed notice describing this law.   A decision to deny leave under this law should not be finalized without conferring with the Office of Human Resources. Questions may be referred to the Office of Human Resources or the Office of General Counsel.

Employees can file a complaint for a violation of this law. 



DC Parental Leave Act: Know your Rights


updated 12-7-18 mlo