Unemployment Compensation Benefits Expanded in D.C.
- D.C. employees can apply for unemployment compensation benefits if:
- they have been quarantined or isolated by the Department of Health or any other applicable District or federal agency; or
- they have self-quarantined or self-isolated in a manner consistent with the recommendations or guidance of the Department of Health or any applicable District or federal agency or a medical professional; or
- their employer ceased or reduced operations due to COVID-19 or as a result of an order or guidance from the Mayor or the Department of Health; or
- they quit their job for "good cause," which includes
- (1) an employer failing to timely comply with a written directive from they Mayor or the Department of Health in relation to public safety measures necessary to protect employees or the public from COVID-19; or
- (2) an employer demanding that an employee be physically present at the workplace despite the employee having been quarantined or isolated by governmental authorities or self-quarantined or self-isolated based on the recommendations or guidance of governmental authorities or medical professionals.
- DC Employees that meet the above requirements and are otherwise eligible for unemployment compensation can apply for unemployment benefits regardless of whether the employer has provided a date certain for the employee's return to work or whether the employee continues to be employed by the current employer.
- Finally, this new legislation has removed the "search for work" requirement, so long as the employee meets the above requirements.
Job-Protected Leave Expanded in D.C.
- D.C. employees can take unpaid, job-protected leave if they have been directed to quarantine or isolate by the federal or D.C. government or a medical provider. In this circumstance, the typical one-year employment requirement and 1,000 hour-work requirement does not apply in order for the employee to be eligible to take this leave.
- The D.C. employee can take leave for the duration of the public health emergency and a note from the employee's medical provider or a recommendation from a D.C. or federal government agency can serve as medical certification to take this leave.
All D.C. employers are covered by this law, regardless of size.