The D.C. City Council voted yesterday to add a roughly $250 million in new taxes to local businesses to fund two months paid leave for a worker who has had or adopted a child.

Only two members of the City Council voted against the bill, Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), who cited the "absurdity" of the plan, and Yvette M. Alexander (D-Ward 7). Evans argued against imposing such a cost on the District when many people who work here are residents of Maryland and Virginia. Mayor Muriel Bowser, who will sign or veto the bill, is not fully on board for reasons similar to Evans'.

We're all in favor of new parents having time off, but the new D.C. policy will be so expensive and such a burden to businesses that it reminds us of an important consideration apparently lost on the City Council: to get leave from a job, it is necessary to have a job.

The new leave policy is not going to be good for the creation or retention of jobs. The Washington Post reports that the new bill is "alarming employers who say the nation's capital is becoming an increasingly costly place to do business."

The new policy applies to full-and part-time employees, who will be eligible for two months leave for a child, and furthermore mandates similar paid leave of six weeks for employees who have to help with a sick family member in addition to two weeks of personal sick leave.

The Washington Post observes that the paid leave policy is part of a trend:  

The legislation is the capstone for a council that has pushed unabashedly progressive labor standards. In the past year alone, the city adopted a plan to hike the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020, and council members have considered bills that would dictate to private employers how to schedule shift workers and whether they can inquire about salary history when making a job offer.

. . .

Some fiscal watchdogs warn that even in its more modest version, the law could be a long-term drag on the city’s budget. Unlike many other times in its history, the District has its finances in order, thanks to relatively conservative fiscal policies and a booming local economy.

But the city is entering a time of greater uncertainty. Its decaying transit system is expected to require heavy investment in the years ahead, and President-elect Donald Trump’s plans for the federal government workforce and federal funding for the District — both crucial to the city’s economic well-being — remain unclear.

Paid leave is one of those policies that sounds humane but it likely to have results that harm the people it was supposedly going to help, most especially by impeding a business' ability to hire and protect jobs. IWF's Straight Talk about Paid Leave shows some of the unintended, disruptive consequences of government mandated leave and explores better ways for employees to get leave for family needs.

Carrie Lukas has written about how "facts, not emotional anecdotes" should drive the paid leave debate.