District of Columbia Leave Laws – Vacation Tracker


District of Columbia has no laws requiring employers to provide employees with vacation benefits, either paid or unpaid. If an employer chooses to provide vacation, however, such benefits must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract. NRA v. Ailes, 428 A.2d 816 (D.C. App. 1981); Jones v. District Parking Mgmt Co., 268 A.2d 860 (D.C. App. 1970).

The rollover policy

  • Statutory Provisions Addressing Vacation Pay

District of Columbia has no statute governing the payment of vacation time.

  • Use-It-or-Lose-It Policy

District of Columbia has no statute governing the policy.

  • Payment of Accrued Vacation on Termination

Unused vacation is payable on termination if:

The employer provides vacation time as part of employee compensation.

There is no agreement to the contrary.

(See NRA v. Ailes, 428 A.2d 816 (D.C. App. 1981) and Jones v. Dist. Parking Managers, 268 A.2d 860 (D.C. App. 1970).)



Sick Leave

It applies to all employers and all employees.

Employers with 100 or more employees: 1 hour for every 37 hours worked. The annual cap is 7 days. 

Employers with 99 to 25 employees: 1 hour for every 43 hours worked. The annual cap is 5 days 

Employers with 24 or fewer employees: 1 hour for every 87 hours worked. The annual accrual cap is 3 days. 

Sick leave covers the following reasons: Employee’s or family member’s health condition; the need for diagnosis, care, treatment, or preventive care; reasons related to domestic violence, sexual violence, or stalking.

Maternity, Paternity, FMLA

In addition to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, District of Columbia has the following laws regarding Maternity and Paternity Leave:

D.C. Family and Medical Leave (DCFMLA) Employers with 20 or more employees are required to provide job-protected, unpaid leave up to 16 workweeks in a 24-month period of time. Employees are eligible for leave if they have been employed for 12 months and worked at least 1000 hours within one year. Leave covers the following reasons:

  • The birth of the employee’s child
  • The placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care
  • The placement of a child with the employee where the employee permanently assumes and discharges parental responsibility
  • The employee’s serious health condition
  • The care of a family member of the employee with a serious health condition.

Leave for birth or placement of a child must be taken within 12 months of the birth or placement.

The maximum amount of time for both spouses to take on a combined basis is the same as for one individual – 16 workweeks.  

Employees are required to provide notice and certification.

The District of Columbia Parental Leave Act provides employees who are parents or guardians with 24-hour leave, paid or unpaid, within a 12 month period to attend school-related activities.

Employees must provide 10 days’ notice. Employees are allowed to use their paid vacation, sick, family or personal time.

Jury Duty Leave

Employers are required to provide employees with unpaid time to perform their jury duties. An employer may not subject an employee to an adverse employment action for responding to a jury summons or serving on a jury. An employer must provide a notice to the employer. An employer with 10 or more employees must pay a full-time employee his or her usual compensation for the first five days of jury service, less the fee received for jury service.

Bereavement Leave

No federal or state law require the employer to provide the employee with paid or unpaid bereavement leave or with any time off to organize or attend a close family member’s funeral. Employers may choose to provide bereavement leave and may be required to comply with any bereavement policy or practice they maintain.

Voting Leave

District of Columbia has no voting leave statute or state law requiring employers to provide employees with both paid or unpaid time off to vote.

Military Leave

District of Columbia has no additional laws regarding Military leave.


Please consult your local legal counsel to learn more about District of Columbia Leave Laws.


To learn more about laws in various countries, check out our Leave Laws page.

    All materials have been prepared for general information purposes only to permit you to learn more about this region's leave laws. The information presented is not legal advice, is not to be acted on as such, and may not be current. Please contact your local legal counsel to learn more about the leave laws in your country.