Payroll and Benefits Guide - United States - District of Columbia

United States - District of Columbia


United States Dollar (USD)



Washington D.C.

Employer Taxes

15.25% – 20.65%


Date Format


Fiscal Year

1 Jan – 31 Dec

Fun Facts

The White House, located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, is the official residence and workplace of the U.S. President.

D.C. is not a state but a federal district, created to serve as the seat of the U.S. government.

The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in D.C. is the most visited museum in the United States.

The National Zoo in D.C. is home to giant pandas, including the famous Mei Xiang and Tian Tian.

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is held annually on the National Mall.

The Washington Monument, at 555 feet tall, is the tallest stone structure and obelisk in the world.



Employee Payroll Tax

Contribution TypeRate
FICA Social Security6.2%
FICA Medicare1.45%
FUTA Unemployment6.00%

Employer Payroll Tax

Contribution TypeRate
Unemployment1.60% – 7.00%
Unemployment- New Employer2.70%
FICA Social Security6.20%
FICA Medicare1.45%
FUTA Unemployment6.00%


Payroll Cycle

Employees must paid at least twice each month unless stated otherwise in contract.

Work Hours and Week

A normal workweek is 40-hour weeks and 8-hour days.


The District of Columbia follows the Federal Labor Standard Act (FLSA) that requires employers to pay their employees 150% their regular rate for all hours in exceeding 40 weekly hours, unless the employee is exempt.


Paid Time Off

The District of Columbia does not require employers to provide employees with paid vacation.

Public Holidays

2021 has 12 public holidays. Private employers are not obligated to provide vacation and or extra pay for these days.

Sick Days

Employers must provide employees with paid sick leave.

  • An employer with 100 or more employees must provide each employee no less than one hour of paid leave for every 37 hours worked, not to exceed 7 days per calendar year.
  • An employer with 25 to 99 employees shall provide for each employee no less than one hour of paid leave for every 43 hours worked, not to exceed 5 days per calendar year.
  • An employer with 24 or fewer employees shall provide no less than one hour of paid leave for every 87 hours worked, not to exceed 3 days per calendar year.

Maternity Leave

The District of Columbia Family and Medical Leave Act (DCFMLA) requires employers with 20 or more employees to provide eligible employees with 16 weeks of unpaid family leave and 16 weeks of unpaid medical leave during a 24-month period.

For an employee to be eligible for the DCFMLA, they must be employed for at least 1 continues year and work at least 1,000 hours during that period.

Paternity Leave

See maternity leave.

Parental Leave

The District of Columbia Parental Leave Act allows employees who are parents or guardians to take 24 hours of leave (paid or unpaid) during a 12 month period to attend school-related activities.


Termination Process

When dismissing a worker the employer has a responsibility to ensure federal, state and city ordinances are followed when off-boarding an employee. Some jurisdictions will impose a penalty if the following items are not processed as per the jurisdictions time frame, this includes: providing the employee a termination/unemployment notice, processing final pay, and ensuring a workers COBRA (benefit) information processed.

Notice Period

Employees are employed ‘at will’ and U.S. law does not require a formal notice period to terminate an individual employee. Therefore, either party can terminate the employment relationship with no notice.

In mass dismissal cases the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act) must be followed and employers must give 60 days’ notice to impacted employees. There are a number of states which have their own provisions for mass layoff which go above the federal requirement.

Severance Pay

There is no official state or federal law regarding severance payments. It depends on the company’s policies.


The state sales tax is 5.75%.