In Spring 2021, the Committee on Labor and Workforce Development will hold hearings on the performance of the agencies within its jurisdiction and and the proposed FY2022 budgets of those agencies. The schedule is below and may found online at https://dccouncil.us/2020-2021-performance-oversight-fy-2022-budget-schedules/. We welcome testimony from the public and have several ways to submit testimony. Instructions for testifying follow. **Please note the schedule is subject to change.** Additionally, agencies’ responses to the Committee’s written pre-hearing questions are posted here: https://dccouncil.us/labor-and-workforce-development-5/
On Friday, January 22, 2021, at 10:00 a.m., Councilmember Elissa Silverman, Chairperson of the Committee on Labor and Workforce Development, will hold a roundtable on the District’s universal paid family leave program. The Universal Paid Leave Amendment Act of 2016 (L21-264) established a paid leave system to provide partial wage replacement for District workers in need of leave from work due to serious family illness, personal medical needs, or to care for a new child. The universal paid leave program began providing benefits to eligible workers on July 1, 2020. At this roundtable, the Committee will hear testimony concerning the first six months of the program. See further information at the full roundtable notice here.
Councilmember Elissa Silverman, Chairperson of the Committee on Labor and Workforce Development, announces a public oversight roundtable before the Committee on the District’s unemployment compensation program. The roundtable will consider the challenges District workers continue to face in applying for unemployment insurance benefits under expanded programs available during the COVID-19 pandemic. This notice has been revised to reflect the addition of a second date, December 16, 2020 at 10:00am, when the Department of Employment Services (DOES) is expected to testify.
The full text of the letter sent by Councilmember Elissa Silverman to DOES, which includes advance questions for this additional Oversight Roundtable, can be found here.
The hearing will be broadcast live on DC Cable Channel 13 and online at www.dccouncil.us.
So, you need to apply for unemployment in DC as a freelancer or independent contractor…
Luckily, DC freelancer Lisa Kaneff has put together this excellent resource to guide freelancers through the process of applying for the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. This easy-to-read blog post will walk readers through what the program does, who's eligible, and how to apply. It also includes several helpful tips for navigating the system with the least amount of headache.
It is important to note, however, that PUA expires at the end of this year. We are hopeful that the Biden Administration will extend PUA or put another aid program in place for our workers not served by traditional Unemployment Insurance, and will share more information if that happens as soon as it becomes available.
Click here to read the full post.
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.
On Thursday, November 19, at 10:00am, the Committee on Labor and Workforce Development will hold an Additional Meeting on the following measures:
- B23-90 Commission on Poverty in the District of Columbia Establishment Act of 2020
- B23-494 Ban on Non-Compete Agreements Amendment Act of 2020
- B23-985 Unemployment Benefits Extension Amendment Act of 2020
- Council Period 23 Report of the Activities of the Committee on Labor and Workforce Development
On Wednesday, December 9 at 9:00am, Councilmember Elissa Silverman, Chairperson of the Committee on Labor and Workforce Development, will hold a public oversight roundtable before the Committee on the District’s unemployment compensation program. The roundtable will consider the challenges District workers continue to face in applying for unemployment insurance benefits under expanded programs available during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tune in via DC Cable Channel 13 or online at www.dccouncil.us.
On Monday, November 16 at 3:00pm, Councilmember Elissa Silverman, Chairperson of the Committee on Labor and Workforce Development, will hold a public hearing before the Committee on B23-985 the Unemployment Benefits Extension Amendment Act of 2020. This Act will amend the District of Columbia Unemployment Compensation Act to qualify District workers for additional weeks of unemployment insurance and pandemic unemployment assistance benefits under the Extended Benefits program. A companion emergency measure was passed by the Council on October 20, 2020 (B23-983), and a temporary measure (B23-984) passed its first vote on that date.
Those who wish to watch live can tune in online via the DC Council Channel or TV Channel 13.
On Tuesday, October 27, 2020, at 10:00am, the Committee on Labor and Workforce Development will hold an additional meeting to consider and vote on the following measures:
- B23-309, “Medical Marijuana Program Patient Employment Protection Amendment Act of 2020”
- B23-500, “Unemployment Compensation Employer Classification Amendment Act of 2020”
The official hearing materials include:
- Draft Committee Print, B23-309 Medical Marijuana Program
- Committee Report, B23-309 Medical Marijuana Program
- Draft Committee Print, B23-500 Unemployment Compensation
- Committee Report, B23-500 Unemployment Compensation
The hearing can be viewed live via https://dccouncil.us or on DC Cable Channel 13.
On October 26, 2020 at 10:00am, Councilmember Elissa Silverman (I-At-Large), Chairperson of the Committee on Labor and Workforce Development, will host a Public Oversight Roundtable on Unemployment Insurance Programs in the District During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Public witnesses are welcome to sign up, and may use their phone or computer to participate in this virtual roundtable. The hearing will be available for live viewing on DC Cable Channel 13 and online at www.dccouncil.us.
This UI Roundtable will focus on three topics:
- DC’s short-time compensation (or “shared work”) program.
- Seamlessly transitioning claimants to additional weeks of benefits through PEUC and EB.
- Clearing the PUA claims and payment backlog.
If you are unable to testify at the roundtable, written and voicemail statements will be accepted as part of the official record until Monday, November 9, 2020. Additional details on testifying below.