Code of the District of Columbia

§ 32–501. Definitions.

*NOTE: This section includes amendments by emergency legislation that will expire on June 10, 2021. To view the text of this section after the expiration of all emergency and/or temporary legislation, click this link: Permanent Version.*

For purposes of this chapter, the term:

(1) "Employee" means:

(A) For leave provided under § 32-502 or § 32-503, any individual who has been employed by the same employer for one year without a break in service except for regular holiday, sick, or personal leave granted by the employer and has worked at least 1000 hours during the 12-month period immediately preceding the request for family or medical leave; or

(B) For leave provided under § 32-502.01, an individual employed by an employer for at least 30 days prior to the request for leave.

(2) “Employer” means any individual, firm, association, or corporation, any receiver or trustee of any individual firm, association, or corporation, or the legal representative of a deceased employer, including the District of Columbia (“District”) government, who uses the services of another individual for pay in the District.

(3) “Employment benefit” means any benefit, other than salary or wages, provided or made available to an employee by an employer, including, but not limited to, group life, health, and disability insurance, sick and annual leave, and educational and pension benefits, regardless of whether the benefit is provided by a policy or practice of an employer or by an employee welfare benefit plan as defined in title 1, subtitle A, section 3(3) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, effective September 2, 1974 (88 Stat. 833; 29 U.S.C. 1002(1)).

(4) “Family member” means:

(A) A person to whom the employee is related by blood, legal custody, or marriage;

(B) A child who lives with an employee and for whom the employee permanently assumes and discharges parental responsibility;

(C) A person with whom the employee shares or has shared, within the last year, a mutual residence and with whom the employee maintains a committed relationship; or

(D) A foster child.

(5) “Health care provider” means any person licensed under federal, state, or District law to provide health care services.

(6) “Public safety agency” means the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia, the Fire Department of the District of Columbia, or the Department of Corrections.

(7) “Mayor” means Mayor of the District of Columbia.

(8) “Reduced leave schedule” means leave scheduled for a fewer number of hours than an employee usually works during each workweek or workday.

(9) “Serious health condition” means a physical or mental illness, injury, or impairment that involves:

(A) Inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential health care facility; or

(B) Continuing treatment or supervision at home by a health care provider or other competent individual.

(10) “Local educational agency” shall have the same meaning as the term has in section 1471(12) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, approved April 28, 1988 (102 Stat. 201; 20 U.S.C. 2891(12)) [omitted].

(Oct. 3, 1990, D.C. Law 8-181, § 2, 37 DCR 5043; Apr. 7, 2017, D.C. Law 21-264, § 202, 64 DCR 2121; Oct. 9, 2020, D.C. Law 23-130, § 104(a), 67 DCR 8622; Mar. 17, 2021, D.C. Act 24-30, § 104(a), 68 DCR 003101.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 36-1301.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 2-1411.03, § 32-131.01, and § 32-131.04.


Section 7034 of D.C. Law 22-33 repealed § 301 of D.C. Law 21-264. Therefore the changes made to this section by D.C. Law 21-264 have been given effect.

Applicability of D.C. Law 21-264: § 301 of D.C. Law 21-264 provided that the change made to this section by § 202 of D.C. Law 21-264 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 104(a) of Coronavirus Support Emergency Amendment Act of 2021 (D.C. Act 24-30, Mar. 17, 2021, 68 DCR 003101).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 103(a) of Coronavirus Support Second Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2020 (D.C. Act 23-405, Aug. 19, 2020, 67 DCR 10235).

For temporary (90 days) repeal of § 301 of D.C. Law 21-264, see § 7034 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-167, Oct. 24, 2017, 64 DCR 10802).

For temporary (90 days) repeal of § 301 of D.C. Law 21-264, see § 7034 of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-104, July 20, 2017, 64 DCR 7032).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 104(a) of Coronavirus Support Temporary Amendment Act of 2020 (D.C. Law 23-130, Oct. 9, 2020, 67 DCR 8622).

References in Text

The reference in (10) to “ 20 U.S.C. 2891(12)” is obsolete and should now read “ 20 U.S.C. 8801(18).”.

Delegation of Authority

Delegation of authority pursuant to D.C. Law 8-181, the “D.C. Family and Medical Leave Act of 1990.”, see Mayor’s Order 91-38, March 14, 1991.

Delegation of Authority-The District of Columbia Family and Medical Leave Act of 1990, see Mayor’s Order 2009-45, March 31, 2009 ( 56 DCR 6783).