Know Your Rights: COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave

Paid Sick Leave

In May, the D.C. Council passed a temporary expansion of the District’s Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act (ASSLA), which provides some workers additional paid sick leave during the COVID-19 emergency. Read our FAQs below to see if you qualify.

Am I eligible for emergency paid sick leave?
You may be eligible if you work for an employer with between 50 and 499 employees that is not a health care provider. You must have worked for the employer for at least 15 days.

What qualifies me to take emergency paid sick leave?
You may use emergency paid sick leave to care for yourself or another person, according to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (section 5102). You may qualify for emergency paid sick leave:

If you need to care for yourself by:

  • obtaining a medical diagnosis or care due to COVID-19 symptoms;
  • self-quarantining under guidance from a heath care professional;
  • self-quarantining under guidance from a federal, state, or local public health official;


If you need to care for someone else such as:

  • an individual who is self-isolating because of a medical diagnosis or COVID-19 symptoms;
  • a child whose school or childcare facilities are closed (including a child whose nanny or individual care provider is unavailable due to COVID-19);

How much emergency paid sick leave time can I take? 
Full-time employees are entitled to up to 80 hours of emergency paid sick leave. Part-time employees are entitled to the usual number of hours you work in a two-week period.

How much pay am I entitled to?  
Emergency paid sick leave must be paid at your regular rate of pay. If you do not have a regular rate of pay, your pay rate will be determined by dividing your total gross earnings, including all tips, commission, or other earnings for the most recent 2-week period that you worked, by the number of hours you worked during that 2-week period. Your employer cannot pay you at a rate below the minimum wage.

Workers can report wage theft or other wage and hour violations to OAG at (202) 442-9828. Learn more about workers’ rights in the District and how to get help if those rights are being violated:

If you are a federal employee in the District, the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) is responsible for enforcing your workplace rights and protections. To learn more about your OSHA worker rights and how to report a violation to OSHA please visit: