Committee Activities Report, Council Period 23
During Council Period 23 (CP23), the Committee focused its work as always on jobs, workers’ rights, and District government personnel policy. The second half of the period was largely dominated by the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic that devastated the economy, producing massive job loss and introducing significant workplace health and safety issues. The impacts of these trends wove throughout the Committee work in the latter part of the period.
This report includes a detailed summary of the Committee's activities in CP23, as well as a list of policy recommendations made, and enacted legislation and measures approved in committee.
Click here to download the full report.
During Council Period 23, the Committee focused its work as always on jobs, workers’ rights, and District government personnel policy. The second half of the period was largely dominated by the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic that devastated the economy, producing massive job loss and introducing significant workplace health and safety issues. The impacts of these trends wove throughout the Committee work in the latter part of the period.
The Committee produced several important pieces of legislation, exercised oversight authority over the variety of programs and agencies under its purview, and reviewed the Mayor’s proposed FY2020 and FY2021 budget proposals to make comprehensive budget recommendations to the Council and policy recommendations to agencies. The Committee focused its work on several key areas:
- Jobs, careers and training for District residents, including work to provide residents with in-demand workforce skills, respond to employer hiring needs, and improve program transparency and performance.
- Enforcement and implementation of the District’s employment laws, including strengthening the unemployment safety net, prioritizing workers’ rights, and overseeing implementation of the new University Paid Leave Act.
- District government operations and employment, including ensuring fair labor management negotiations, respecting collective bargaining agreements, providing job opportunity to District workers in government employment, and examination of personnel policies related to medical marijuana.
The top laws enacted or bills advanced during Council Period 23 by the Committee include:
- Sections of B23-733 COVID-19 Response Supplemental Emergency Amendment Act of 2020 (Act A23-0286) and of B23-757 the Coronavirus Support Emergency Amendment Act of 2020 including expanding unemployment insurance eligibility, paid sick time, and Family and Medical Leave; and modernizing the District’s shared work (short-time compensation) program.
- B23-870 Protecting Business and Workers from COVID-19 Emergency Amendment Act of 2020 and B23-781 (temporary), which require employers to adhere to the Mayor’s Order that requires the wearing of face masks and for employers to provide masks to employees, to prohibit retaliation against employees seeking to ensure the safety of their workplaces, and to provide avenues for small businesses to purchase protective equipment for their workplaces and employees.
- B23-0531 Collective Bargaining Fair Compare Amendment Act of 2019 (Law 23-91), which will ensure District government public servants can bargain for fair and competitive compensation in collective bargaining negotiations.
- B23-309, Medical Marijuana Program Patient Employment Protection Amendment Act of 2019, which would prohibit the District of Columbia government from discriminating, in employment, against individuals participating in the medical marijuana program.
- B23-494, Ban on Non-Compete Agreements Amendment Act of 2019, which would ban the use of non-compete provisions in employment agreements and workplace policies.
Other key accomplishments during Council Period 23 include:
- Holding oversight hearings and producing public education materials on unemployment insurance and related benefits, which were critical lifelines during the pandemic.
- Passing legislation in the budget to set deadlines for the 10-year project to modernize the unemployment insurance IT system.
- Overseeing implementation of the launch of the new Universal Paid Leave Program and establishing and funding a new Workplace Leave Navigators grant program.
- Establishing and funding new, business-led, strategic planning for key industries, such as health care and infrastructure.
- Funding job training in key fields like information technology, construction, and healthcare.
- Establishing and funding the School Year Internship Pilot Program, which creates a paid internship pilot program for 250 District high school students in Spring 2021 to gain skills and experience needed for future success.
- Expanding youth programming to incorporate exposure to apprenticeships, additional time for summer jobs for opportunity youth, and directing funds to more year-round in-school youth programs.
- Utilizing the budget process to obtain performance data on workforce development programs and conduct deep dives in oversight hearings.