D.C. Council Postpones Vote On Two Controversial Employment Bills
The D.C. Council has postponed votes on the Hours and Scheduling Stability Act (the “Scheduling Act”) and the Universal Paid Leave Act (the “Leave Act”), two controversial bills that would impose significant burdens on D.C. employers.
The Scheduling Act seeks to impose burdensome restrictions on chain retailers’ and chain restaurants’ ability to schedule and hire employees. It would require covered employers in D.C. to, among other things, provide 21 days advance notice of an employee’s schedule and compensate employees for any changes to the schedule thereafter. It also seeks to restrict an employer’s ability to hire new employees prior to offering available hours to existing employees. Our previous blog post on the Scheduling Act can be found here. The D.C. Council was scheduled to vote on the Scheduling Act on June 28, 2016, when it was abruptly removed from the agenda. Council Member Vincent Orange sought to have the bill placed on the July 12, 2016 agenda, but his request was denied. These developments suggest that the Scheduling Act is facing significant opposition that could require significant changes before it is brought up for a vote.
The second law affected by the postponement, the Leave Act, seeks to provide nearly all D.C. employees up to 16 weeks of paid leave at varying rates of pay based upon the employee’s earnings. It would be funded by a tax on employee earnings paid by employers. Our previous blog posts on the Leave Act can be found here and here. Since introduced in 2015, the law has faced significant hurdles in the Council. Votes have been postponed in the past due to concerns over the cost of the law. The amended Leave Act was expected to be introduced and voted on by the Council on July 12, 2016, but ultimately was not placed on the agenda.