Confusion about the new sick-leave law in D.C.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Regarding the Jan. 25 Metro article "Many workers unaware of D.C. sick-leave law passed in 2008":

I want to assure readers beyond a doubt that the D.C. Paid Sick and Safe Leave Act is in effect. Under that law, most people who work in the District and have been on the job for a year are entitled to receive paid leave from their employer when they are sick or need to deal with a domestic violence issue. All D.C. employers are under obligation to follow the law.

Some might have gotten a different impression from The Post's article, which quoted D.C. Chamber of Commerce President Barbara Lang saying that local businesses "are under no obligation to do anything."

The fact is that the Paid Sick and Safe Leave Act has been in effect since November 2008, even though regulations had not been completed. Ms. Lang has issued a written statement saying that her quote was not intended to suggest that businesses can ignore the law until the regulations come out.

This confusion highlights how important it is for Mayor Adrian M. Fenty to quickly publish final regulations, which will clarify how the law should be implemented.

Courtney Chappell, Washington

The writer is director of advocacy for the D.C. Employment Justice Center, an organization that protects and promotes the legal rights of low-wage workers.

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