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D.C. Closes Non-Essential Businesses, Expands Leave in Response to COVID-19: What Employers Need to Know

In an effort to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has issued Mayor’s Order 2020-053, requiring the temporary closure of the on-site operation of all non-essential businesses and the prohibition of gatherings of 10 or more people.

A COVID-19 Guide for Employers in the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia)

Employers of all sizes are facing unforeseen challenges because of the ongoing public health pandemic resulting from the spread of COVID-19. In addition to the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)1 and the stimulus package (CARES Act) recently passed by the U.S. Senate (and expected to be passed by the House and signed into law), the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia (DMV) governments have each taken various emergency measures intended to address the pandemic while simultaneously creating a host of new obligations for employers.

D.C. and Maryland Respond to COVID-19 Realities with Broadened Employee Protections

Executive Summary: On March 17, 2020, the District of Columbia Council passed new legislation, the COVID-19 Response Emergency Amendment Act, expanding the eligibility requirements for unemployment insurance for workers who are laid off or lose hours as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and expanding employee protections under the D.C. Family and Medical Leave Act (DC FMLA). The new law temporarily expands the eligibility requirements to apply for unemployment insurance benefits and eliminates eligibility requirements under the DC FMLA, lengthening the availability of such benefits through the duration of this public health emergency.

District of Columbia Passes Emergency Legislation Expanding Coverage Under the DCFMLA and Unemployment Insurance

On March 17, 2020, the District of Columbia City Council unanimously approved, and the mayor signed, the COVID-19 Response Emergency Amendment Act (the “Act”) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Among other measures aimed at helping District businesses and residents, the Act temporarily expands covered absences under the D.C. Family and Medical Leave Act (DCFMLA) and broadens unemployment insurance access for affected employees. The legislation will remain in effect no longer than 90 days.

D.C. Circuit Rejects NLRB’s Attempt to Certify Union Vote by University Adjunct Faculty

The D.C. Circuit recently rebuffed the National Labor Relations Board’s attempt to assert jurisdiction over adjunct faculty at Duquesne University, a religious college. Duquesne University v. NLRB, No. No. 18-1063 (D.C. Cir. Jan. 28, 2020). In the process, the court rejected the Board’s approach to religious institutions in general and reaffirmed that the Board cannot insert itself into disputes between those institutions and their employees.

DC Employers Must Notify Employees of Their Right to Paid Leave

Starting February 1, 2020, covered District of Columbia employers must notify employees about their right to paid leave under the DC Paid Family Leave Act (PFLA)

District of Columbia Commuter Benefits: New Penalties, Fines

Penalties and fines for non-compliance with Washington, D.C.’s law requiring D.C. employers to offer commuter benefits to their D.C. employees will take effect beginning on November 14, 2019.

District of Columbia Marks Start of July with Paid Family Leave Taxes

Starting on July 1, 2019, the District of Columbia will begin collecting taxes from most of the District’s private sector employers and non-profit organizations to fund a new Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefit.

D.C. District Court Vacates Core Elements of New Association Health Plan Regulations

A federal court struck down key portions of the new association health plan (AHP) regulations last week, just days before the fledgling rules for self-insured medical plans were slated to go into effect regarding newly-created AHPs.

Washington D.C. Attorney General Seeks Stronger Data Security and Breach Notification Requirements

Add Washington D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine’s recent data security legislative proposal – the Security Breach Protection Amendment Act of 2019 – to the growing list of states and jurisdictions across the country seeking to strengthen privacy and security protections around personal information.
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