Employment Services Department

The DC Department of Employment Services has issued proposed regulations for the Universal Paid Leave Program. A copy of those proposed rules is attached. Should you wish to provide comments on the proposed regulations please do so prior to the deadline. Since the rules were published in the D.C. Register in early April, they will remain open for public comment in not less than thirty (30) days after publication of the notice. Deadline is Monday, May 7th.

The bill which passed on April 7, 2017, covers anyone working in the District even though the company is domiciled in Maryland or Virginia. 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.

Employers need to be aware that this bill covers District residents as well as those from Maryland and Virginia if they are working in the District. However, it does not cover a District resident who is working in another jurisdiction. Under the Act, “eligible individuals” may request paid leave following the occurrence of certain qualifying events, subject to a one-week waiting period during which time no benefits are payable. “Eligible individuals” include: (1) individuals who have been “covered employees” during some or all of the 52-week period preceding the occurrence of a qualifying event; or (2) self-employed individuals who have opted into the paid leave program, and who spent more than 50 percent of their work time in D.C. during some or all of the 52-week period preceding the occurrence of a qualifying event.

“Covered employees” include employees of “covered employers” who: (1) spend more than 50 percent of their work time in D.C. working for that employer; or (2) who regularly spend a substantial amount of time working for that employer in D.C., and who do not spend more than 50 percent of their work time for that employer in another jurisdiction.

“Covered employers” include: (1) any individual, partnership, general contractor, subcontractor, association, corporation, business trust, or group of persons who employs or exercises control over employees and is required to pay D.C. unemployment insurance on the employees’ behalf; or (2) self-employed individuals who opt into the paid-leave program. The D.C. and Federal governments are excluded from the definition of “covered employer.”

Under the Act, “eligible individuals” may request paid leave following the occurrence of certain qualifying events, subject to a one-week waiting period during which time no benefits are payable. “Eligible individuals” include: (1) individuals who have been “covered employees” during some or all of the 52-week period preceding the occurrence of a qualifying event; or (2) self-employed individuals who have opted into the paid leave program, and who spent more than 50 percent of their work time in D.C. during some or all of the 52-week period preceding the occurrence of a qualifying event.

“Covered employees” include employees of “covered employers” who: (1) spend more than 50 percent of their work time in D.C. working for that employer; or (2) who regularly spend a substantial amount of time working for that employer in D.C., and who do not spend more than 50 percent of their work time for that employer in another jurisdiction.

“Covered employers” include: (1) any individual, partnership, general contractor, subcontractor, association, corporation, business trust, or group of persons who employs or exercises control over employees and is required to pay D.C. unemployment insurance on the employees’ behalf; or (2) self-employed individuals who opt into the paid-leave program. The D.C. and Federal governments are excluded from the definition of “covered employer.”

 

Employment Services Department of 7 DCMR Ch. 34 Paid Leave

Legislators Enjoyed ACE-Sponsored Events

March 23, 2018

 

ACE is pleased that many legislators and their staffs enjoyed ACE-sponsored events.  This year’s Virginia legislative reception was held on January 10th at The Commonwealth – a landmark hotel in Richmond for over 100 years.  (more…)

DC Department of Employment Services (“DOES”) Interviews City Manager

March 8th, 2018

Council member Silverman Statement on DOES Director Odie Donald Interviewing for City Manager Position in Georgia

 

On Friday, March 2, 2018, Odie Donald, Director of the Department of Employment Services (DOES), unexpectedly resigned after two years, to return to Georgia. March 16, 2018 will be his last day with the District.  This announcement blindsided many local officials.  This announcement also comes at a critical time for the District because DOES is the agency responsible for the implementation of universal paid leave and Director Donald was the “point man”.  It is unknown whether this departure will delay the program’s implementation.  Until a permanent replacement is announced, Dr. Unique Morris Hughes will serve as the interim director.

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D.C. ‘Rolled Out the Red Carpet’ for a Company Accused of Wage Fraud

With the building boom unabated, one issue D.C. voters can expect to hear a lot about come election year is jobs. Every public land sale, commercial project, mixed-use development, or residential complex comes with mayoral promises of opportunities for a growing labor force.

But the D.C. Apprenticeship Council’s recent certification of an out-of-state contractor and accusations of wage fraud have prompted an investigation by Attorney General Karl Racine and claims by unions and labor advocates that a bad actor is going unchecked. At-large D.C. Councilmember Elissa Silverman worries that the District isn’t enforcing its own labor laws.

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Greater Washington Added Fewer Jobs in 2016 Than First Thought, Economists Are Worried

Greater Washington’s job growth in the second half of 2016 has been revised downward and that has regional economists worried about the region’s resilience in the face of potential federal spending cuts.

The D.C. region added 55,600 jobs in 2016, according to final data released Tuesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics — about 16,800 fewer than the agency had initially counted. The downward revision was reflected largely in only the last few months of the year, according to economist Stephen Fuller.

The preliminary estimate of 72,400 jobs added would have given Greater Washington its largest increase since 2000, but the revisions mean job growth lagged behind 2015.

The biggest increase in jobs came from professional and business services. Originally the BLS said that area had gained 20,200 jobs, but that has been revised downward to 17,000. And preliminary data that showed 8,700 new retail jobs was erased. Just 700 new retail jobs were added, according to Fuller.

“This clearly is a yellow caution flag. And I don’t know that the region is at all prepared to respond to it,” he said in an interview.

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‘Fair scheduling’ bill dies in D.C. Council

Legislation intended to give hourly employees more predictable work schedules effectively died Tuesday before the D.C. Council, with lawmakers saying that they were hesitant to pile too many costs onto employers in a single year.

The D.C. Council voted 9 to 4 to table the bill, leaving little chance that lawmakers would reach a final decision this session on the council’s third major pro-labor bill.

The legislation, which mirrors similar laws passed in San Francisco and Seattle, would have mandated that employers give workers two weeks’ advance notice of their scheduled hours. It also would have required bosses to give part-time workers priority when filling full-time shifts.

Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) predicted that the legislative body would focus instead on finishing a bill that would require private employers to provide paid family leave, to be funded by a new corporate tax. That bill follows a decision in the spring to ratchet up the city’s hourly minimum wage to $15 by the end of the decade.

“My concern was we were getting too far into the details of telling businesses how to operate,” Mendelson said. “But that was a concern, not a judgment. There is a possibility this issue comes back up” next year.
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