COVID-19 has cost thousands of workers in the District their jobs, threatening their ability to pay the rent and feed their families. For those who are still employed, safety concerns are high and workers deserve protections so they do not have to choose between their jobs and their health. 

As Councilmember, I will move forward a more aggressive plan to prioritize the security and wellbeing of those who have lost their jobs to COVID-19. For those who are working during this pandemic, I will champion evidence-based public health measures for their protection.

As Councilmember, I will:
  • Ensure that workers who have applied for unemployment insurance and have had their benefits delayed due to the backed up DOES system will have their claims expedited and paid retroactively.
  • Ensure that the much-delayed overhaul of the unemployment application system is finally completed and that our unemployment application system is modern, user-friendly and mobile-accessible.
  • Support assistance for excluded workers who are left out of federal unemployment benefits.
  • Coordinate with neighboring jurisdictions to ensure excluded workers who live in DC but work elsewhere can receive benefits.
  • Ensure workers who were misclassified as contractors can obtain unemployment insurance and fully fund the Office of Attorney General’s efforts to crack down on employment misclassification.
  • Ensure unemployment benefits are guaranteed if a person is asked to go back to work, but declines for safety or health reasons.
  • Create new employment opportunities for those who have lost work due to COVID-19, including in recovery programs such as contract tracing.
  • Provide funding and options for unemployed workers to continue their formal education or receive vocational training during and after the crisis to expand their skills and opportunities
As Councilmember, I will:
  • Extend the Mayor’s order requiring employers to provide masks.
  • Require employers to provide additional PPE appropriate and specific to each workplace and create a workforce safety inspection task force to inspect and enforce the rules in the District’s workplaces.
  • Ensure the District provides clear signage to businesses making face covering and social distancing orders clear and otherwise take steps to reduce the burden of enforcement on employees.
  • Ensure cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer are provided to employees in all workplaces.
  • Ensure training is available for all workers on how to properly use PPE, cleaning supplies, and sanitizer.
  • Protect workers from retaliation for protecting themselves from COVID risks at work.
  • Create a public database of workplace outbreaks and require employers to report COVID infections in their place of business.
  • Insist on transparency of District government agencies, including public and public charter schools, about COVID cases occurring in schools or government facilities and workplaces.
As Councilmember, I will:
  • Protect and fund DC’s paid sick and family leave program.
  • Protect and extend DC’s COVID-specific paid leave policies.
  • Provide public, language-accessible information about paid leave rights and require employers to provide information about paid leave.
  • Work with neighboring jurisdictions to achieve paid leave parity.
  • Work to expend paid leave to workers who are employed by firms that rely on contractors as their primary source of staff and encourage the Attorney General to reduce worker misclassification.

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