Committee Work

Witness testimony at July 14 Labor Committee Hearing on the Non-Compete Conflict of Interest Clarification Amendment Act of 2021

Nearly 20 witnesses testified at the Committee on Labor and Workforce Development July 14 hearing on B24-256, the Non-Compete Conflict of Interest Clarification Amendment Act of 2021. Click here to read the written testimony of those who participated. We greatly appreciate all the input provided by the witnesses.


FY 2022 Labor and Workforce Development Budget Report

As part of the FY 2022 budget process, the Committee on Labor and Workforce Development has released its budget recommendations. The report and accompanying documents are linked below.  The Committee marked up and voted on the recommendations on Wednesday, June 30, at 4pm.  

Budget documents:

More budget information can be found on the Council Budget Office's website.


DOES Director's Testimony for June 11 Budget Oversight Hearing

Councilmember Elissa Silverman, Chairperson of the Committee on Labor and Workforce Development, received testimony from the DC Department of Employment Services (DOES) Director Dr. Unique Morris-Hughes in advance of the June 11 Oversight Hearing on the DOES Budget for FY 2022. Click here to read the Director's testimony.

The virtual hearing will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, June 11, 2021. It will be broadcast live on DC Cable Channel 13 and online at https://www.dccouncil.us/.


Testimony of Public Witnesses at June 9 Labor Committee DOES Budget Oversight Hearing

Nearly 50 public witnesses testified at the Committee on Labor and Workforce Development June 9 hearing on the FY 2022 budget for the Department of Employment Services (DOES). Click here to read the written testimony of those who participated. We greatly appreciate all the input provided by our public witnesses, as it will inform our consideration of how we can make strategic investments to help those residents and businesses who have been hurt most by the pandemic.


D.C. Council Announces Public Roundtable on Unemployment Insurance

Councilmember Elissa Silverman, Chairperson of the Committee on Labor and Workforce Development, and Councilmember Robert C. White, Jr., Chairperson of the Committee on Government Operations and Facilities, will hold a joint public oversight roundtable on the District’s unemployment compensation programs and related contracts.  The roundtable will be held over two days:  May 5, 2021, at 9 a.m. for public witness testimony and May 12, 2021,  at 9 a.m. for government witness and contractor testimony. The Committees have invited leadership of On Point, which operates the claimants’ online portal, and Codice and Capitol Bridge, which have been contracted to augment the UI call center, to attend.

Tune in on DC Cable Channel 13 and online at www.dccouncil.us.


Follow-up Letter from DOES Director on Unemployment Insurance Issues

On March 11, Councilmember Elissa Silverman, chair of the DC Council's Labor and Workforce Development Committee, sent a letter highlighting four ways for the District to resolve unemployment insurance issues. The letter to Department of Employment Services Director Unique Morris-Hughes came after the Department's performance oversight hearing, where councilmembers heard from dozens of witnesses who could not get issues resolved with the Department.

Director Morris-Hughes initially responded with a letter to committee members on April 7, and we received follow-up correspondence on April 19.


DOES Director Responds to Labor Committee's March 11 Letter on Addressing Unemployment Insurance Issues

On March 11, Councilmember Elissa Silverman, chair of the DC Council's Labor and Workforce Development Committee, sent a letter highlighting four ways for the District to resolve unemployment insurance issues. The letter to Department of Employment Services Director Unique Morris-Hughes came after the Department's performance oversight hearing, where councilmembers heard from dozens of witnesses who could not get issues resolved with the Department.

Director Morris-Hughes responded on April 7. Here are some important points:

  • While the Director would not promise a claims processing "blitz," DOES has hired 100 new contract staff adjudicators who will be concentrating on processing all remaining claims.
  • Again, there will be no "blitz," but staff at DOES will work to send robocalls and text messages to claimants regarding their right to request higher weekly benefit amounts.
  • Interstate Program Coordinators will continue to reach out daily to their counterparts in Maryland and Virginia regarding DC claimants experiencing difficulties in those jurisdictions.
  • DOES is reviewing the Biden Rescue Plan in order to develop clear guidance and timelines for the new benefit extensions and has issued a fact sheet on the federal plan.

Letter to DOES Director on Implementation of American Rescue Plan Changes

In a letter to the Director of the DC Department of Employment Services, I emphasized that all claimants need to be alerted in plain language how the Biden Rescue Plan will benefit them, how long it will take to implement changes, and what problems they may encounter and what they can do to resolve them. You can read the letter here.


American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 Extends Unemployment Benefits

The federal American Rescue Plan extended four unemployment programs. Individuals receiving either PUA or PEUC benefits will NOT have to reapply to continue to receive their benefits. 

The DC Department of Employment Services is still making updates to the system to reflect the new federal benefit changes. Individuals should keep filing and certifying online every week. The new benefits will extend from March 14 through September 6. The plan also provides an additional $300 per week to anyone receiving benefits March 14 through September 4.

 


Labor Committee Identifies 4 Ways to Improve Common Unemployment Insurance Problems

On March 11th, Councilmember Elissa Silverman, chair of the DC Council's Labor and Workforce Development Committee, sent a letter highlighting four ways for the District to resolve unemployment insurance issues.  The letter, to the Department of Employment Services Director Unique Morris-Hughes, comes after the Department's performance oversight hearing, where councilmembers heard from dozens of witnesses who spent hours and hours calling and emailing the Department but could not get issues resolved.