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Total Articles: 25

District of Columbia Enacts the Universal Paid Leave Act

In late 2016, after more than a year of debate, the District of Columbia Council voted to create one of the most generous paid leave laws in the country. After making it through the congressional review period, the Universal Paid Leave Act of 2015 (“the Act”) became effective on April 7, 2017. The Act provides covered employees with 8 weeks of paid parental leave, 6 weeks of paid family leave, and 2 weeks of paid personal medical leave. The paid leave will be funded by a 0.62% increase in DC employer payroll taxes.

New D.C. Law Restricts Employer Use of Credit Histories in Employment Decisions

On February 15, 2017, Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser signed into law the District of Columbia’s Fair Credit in Employment Amendment Act of 2016 (FCEAA). This Act, which amends the District’s Human Rights Act of 1977, follows other jurisdictions, such as New York City and Philadelphia, in significantly restricting an employer’s ability to inquire into or use an applicant’s or employee’s credit history in making employment decisions. The Act is expected to go into effect after (1) a 30-day period of congressional review and (2) publication in the District of Columbia Register.

District of Columbia Mayor Signs Law Restricting Employers from Using Credit Information in Employment Decisions

On February 15, 2017, District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser signed a bill prohibiting, with limited exceptions, employers’ use of or obtaining a job applicant's or employee's credit information for employment purposes. D.C. joins the growing list of jurisdictions that have enacted similar laws: California, Chicago, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New York City, Oregon, Philadelphia, Vermont, and Washington.1

DC Mayor Declines to Veto DC’s Paid Family Leave Bill

Back in December 2016, we wrote an article discussing the passage of the District of Columbia Universal Paid Leave Amendment Act of 2016 (“the Act”) by a 9 to 4 DC City Council vote on December 20th. We explained that the next step was for the Act to be presented to Mayor Muriel Bowser. At that time, Mayor Bowser had expressed concerns about the Act and stated that she would not sign it.

D.C. Council Passes Ban on Credit History Screens on Job Applicants, Interns, Employees

The Washington D.C. Council unanimously passed the “Fair Credit in Employment Amendment Act” (Bill 21-244) to amend the Human Rights Act of 1977 and prevent employers from taking discriminatory action against applicants, interns and employees based on the individual’s “credit information.”

Ho-Ho . . . NO! Universal Paid Leave Act Will Create Significant New Costs for District of Columbia Employers

Employers in the District of Columbia (D.C. or District) found a lump of coal in their holiday stockings this year thanks to the D.C. Council’s passage of the Universal Paid Leave Amendment Act of 2016 (UPLA) on December 20, 2016. The UPLA creates the most expansive paid leave benefits in the nation, enabling employees to receive a combination of paid leave, which can include up to eight weeks of parental leave, six weeks of family medical leave, and two weeks of personal medical leave every year. The benefits will be provided to employees through a government-run, claims-based system similar to the one used for unemployment insurance.

Washington, DC City Council Passes Expansive Paid Sick and Family Leave Bill

On December 20, 2016, the DC City Council voted in favor of the Universal Paid Leave Amendment Act (“Paid Leave Act”), a bill granting generous family and medical leave benefits to employees working in the District. If enacted, the bill would be one of the most generous paid family and medical leave programs in the country. Rhode Island, New Jersey, California and New York also have adopted paid family and medical leave legislation.

Paid Family Leave Law Approved by D.C. Council in Veto-Proof Vote

The Washington, D.C., Council has approved a measure that requires employers to provide paid family leave to employees working in the District of Columbia. The veto-proof 9-to-4 vote moves the significant increase in mandatory paid time off closer to becoming law in the District of Columbia.

District of Columbia Passes Expansive Paid Leave Law

After more than a year of debate, on December 20, 2016, the District of Columbia Council voted to create one of the most generous paid leave laws in the country. DC now joins California, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island in advancing laws to provide paid medical, parental and family care leave to employees working in those jurisdictions. The Universal Paid Leave Act of 2015 (Bill B21-0415) (“the Act”), in its final form, provides covered employees with 8 weeks of paid parental leave, 6 weeks of paid family leave, and 2 weeks of paid personal medical leave. The paid leave will be funded by a 0.62% increase in DC employer payroll taxes.

The District of Columbia and the Gender Pay Gap: The Fight (for Pay Equity) in Old D.C.

The District of Columbia may soon join Massachusetts in prohibiting employers from asking job candidates about their prior salary histories. On September 20, 2016, legislation known as the “Fair Wage Amendment Act of 2016” (FWAA), B21-0878, was introduced in the Council of the District of Columbia by Councilmember David Grosso (I-At-Large) and six other councilmembers, and was cosponsored by four other members. (In total, the Council of the District of Columbia consists of 13 members.) According to Grosso, the measure is aimed at preventing new employers from perpetuating the lower levels of pay experienced historically by women and minorities in the District of Columbia.

The District of Columbia Council Paves the Way to Increasing the Hourly Minimum Wage to $15 by 2020

On Tuesday, June 7, 2016, the District of Columbia Council voted unanimously to raise the District’s minimum wage for both tipped and non-tipped employees.

The Rising Minimum Wages and Tip Credits for 2016: An Overview

Effective January 1, 2016, 29 states plus the District of Columbia will have minimum wage rates that are above the federal minimum wage rate of $7.25 per hour.

District of Columbia Employers Must Provide Transportation Benefit Programs by the New Year

Employers with employees located in the District of Columbia must provide a transportation benefit program to employees by January 1, 2016. This mandatory commuter benefit is among many environmental and sustainability initiatives required by the Sustainable DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2014 (the “Act”)1 that the Mayor signed on July 29, 2014. Employers must act quickly to ensure they have a program in place by the deadline.

District of Columbia Employers Must Provide Transportation Benefit Programs by the New Year

Employers with employees located in the District of Columbia must provide a transportation benefit program to employees by January 1, 2016. This mandatory commuter benefit is among many environmental and sustainability initiatives required by the Sustainable DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2014 (the “Act”)1 that the Mayor signed on July 29, 2014. Employers must act quickly to ensure they have a program in place by the deadline.

D.C. Commuter Benefits Are Almost Here: Employers Must Comply by January 1

Employers with 20 or more employees working in the District of Columbia have fewer than 90 days to comply with a new law that requires them to offer commuter benefits to employees by January 1, 2016. Washington, D.C. is one of several cities and regions that have recently passed mandatory commuter benefit ordinances requiring businesses with a certain number of employees to offer commuter benefits to employees. The ordinances aim to encourage employees to use public transportation rather than drive alone to work.

DC Bill Would Provide Most Generous Paid Leave Benefits in the Nation

On October 6, 2015, the District of Columbia Council introduced legislation that would establish a universal paid leave system for all DC residents and workers who are employed in DC but live elsewhere. The Universal Paid Leave Act of 2015 (Bill B21-0415) ("the Act") would provide covered workers with up to 16 weeks of annual paid family and medical leave. Additionally, the Act would amend the existing DC Family and Medical Leave Act of 1990 ("DC FMLA") to shorten the waiting period for new employees to qualify for DC FMLA benefits.

DC Bill Would Provide Most Generous Paid Leave Benefits in the Nation

On October 6, 2015, the District of Columbia Council introduced legislation that would establish a universal paid leave system for all DC residents and workers who are employed in DC but live elsewhere. The Universal Paid Leave Act of 2015 (Bill B21-0415) ("the Act") would provide covered workers with up to 16 weeks of annual paid family and medical leave. Additionally, the Act would amend the existing DC Family and Medical Leave Act of 1990 ("DC FMLA") to shorten the waiting period for new employees to qualify for DC FMLA benefits.

D.C. Council Considering 16-Week Employee Paid Leave Bill

The Council of the District of Columbia is considering legislation that would give all D.C. residents and those employed in the District up to 16 weeks of paid family and medical leave every 24 months for certain qualifying life events, including bonding with a new child, recuperating from a military deployment, and caring for an ill family member. If passed, the bill would offer D.C. residents and workers the most generous paid leave in the country.

Implied Rights in Whistleblower Policies: What DC’s Latest Ruling Means for Employers

On March 18, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled on a motion to dismiss in a case that will have potentially serious consequences for D.C. employers that include written whistleblower and other anti-retaliation policies in their employee handbooks.

New Employment Laws Take Effect in the District of Columbia

A number of new laws impacting employers in the District of Columbia recently have become effective. Information regarding these new employer obligations can be found below.

D.C. Joins the "Ban the Box" Trend and Enacts the Fair Criminal Record Screening Amendment Act of 2014

The primary initiative of the “Ban the Box” nationwide campaign is to persuade employers to remove the “check box” asking applicants if they have a criminal record from their hiring applications. The purpose of the initiative is to enable former offenders to display their qualifications in the hiring process before being asked about their criminal histories.

Amendments to D.C. Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act Creates New Hurdles for Employers

The District of Columbia’s Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act of 2008 (ASSLA), which requires employers to provide paid leave to employees for their own or a family member’s illness as well as in certain other situations, was amended by the Council of the District of Columbia in 2013 and its changes became effective on October 1, 2014.

The District of Columbia Council Passes Its Own Wage Theft Prevention Amendment Act

The Council of the District of Columbia passed the Wage Theft Prevention Amendment Act (WTPAA) of 2014 which then mayor Vincent C. Gray signed in September 2014. Pursuant to the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, this legislation is now under congressional review. This review process is beneficial in this instance because the 2014 WTPAA creates new burdens for employers and enhances the prospects for employee litigation, and it has created confusion or unintended consequences for all concerned. It is important to note that the anticipated date that the 2014 WTPAA becomes effective is February 26, 2015; however, even the District of Columbia’s (D.C.) Department of Employment Services concedes this date could change. Here are several key features to the bill that local employers should keep in mind.

New District of Columbia Pregnancy Accommodation Statute to Become Effective on March 3, 2015

Barring adverse congressional review, the District of Columbia’s Protecting Pregnant Workers Fairness Act of 2014 (PPWFA) will become effective on March 3, 2015. The new statute gives pregnant workers significantly broader protection than they have under current federal and District of Columbia law.

D.C. Voters Approve Recreational Marijuana Ballot Initiative

On November 4, 2014, voters approved a law legalizing recreational marijuana use in the District of Columbia. D.C. joins Alaska, Oregon, Colorado, and Washington in approving marijuana for recreational use.
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