Changes To The Contract
The employment relationship is presumed to be on an “at-will” basis, the terms of which employers are free to change on a prospective basis. If the employment relationship is subject to a written contract, the consent of both parties may be necessary in order to make changes to the terms.
Change In Ownership Of The Business
The District of Columbia does not have any rules modifying employers’ obligations under the Federal WARN Act. Employees are not allowed to refuse a change in ownership of the business unless the employee has a contractual right to object to the change.
Social Security Contributions
Federal law provides for compulsory social security contributions by both employer and employee.
Accidents At Work
Workers’ compensation and other laws may apply.
Discipline And Grievance
Unless a collective bargaining agreement or a specific contract provision applies, state and federal law do not govern discipline or grievance procedures. Employers are free to adopt such policies as they see fit.
The District of Columbia Human Rights Act (DCHRA) prohibits discrimination in employment based upon race, color, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, related medical conditions, breastfeeding, or reproductive health decisions), age (18 years or older), marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, familial status, family responsibilities, disability, matriculation, political affiliation, gender identity or expression, genetic testing, or genetic information, source of income, status as a victim or having a family member that is a victim of an intrafamily offense, or place of residence or business. Retaliation against an employee who reports a violation of the DCHRA or participates in any investigation under the DCHRA is also prohibited.
Compulsory Training Obligations
The Tipped Wage Workers Fairness Amendment Act of 2018 mandates training on sexual harassment and minimum wage laws for all workplaces where tipped employees are found.
Except in limited circumstances, such as a court-ordered deduction for payment of outstanding child support obligations, employers may not make deductions from wages for a claimed indebtedness. Additionally, under the Wage Garnishment Fairness Amendment Act of 2018, employees whose disposable wages in a given week do not exceed 40 times the District of Columbia minimum wage are exempt from garnishment for that week altogether.
Payments For Maternity And Disability Leave
There are no requirements for employers to make payments for maternity or disability leave, except for leave qualifying under the District of Columbia’s Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act and the Universal Paid Family Leave Amendment Act of 2016.
Employers must participate in insurance plans for work-related injuries and for unemployment.
Absence For Military Or Public Service Duties
Federal law provides leave for certain military service members, family members, and caretakers.
Works Councils or Trade Unions
Under federal law, employees can force an employer in certain circumstances to recognize a union. Individuals who engage in concerted activities are protected from retaliation.
Employees’ Right To Strike
Under federal law, groups of employees may strike even if there is not a collective bargaining agreement or a formal union at the site of employment, subject to limits for public services.
Employees On Strike
Under federal law, an employer can hire and employ temporary replacements for striking workers. The employer also has a somewhat more limited right to permanently replace striking workers. Workers cannot, however, be fired because they have gone on strike or otherwise engaged in protected concerted activity.
Employers’ Responsibility For Actions Of Their Employees
Employers may be vicariously liable to third parties for acts committed by employees within the scope of their employment duties. In addition, employers may be directly liable for their own negligence in failing to ascertain an employee’s propensity to inflict injury.