EJC Advocacy Win: DC Auditor Commits to Study Impact of DC’s Paid Sick Leave Law

It’s been four years since the District passed the lauded Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act of 2008. However, as the Washington Post reports, the District has failed to conduct an audit to review how effective the policy has been at protecting District workers, even though one is required by statute. The D.C. Employment Justice Center applauds the D.C. auditor’s office for responding to EJC’s advocacy efforts by committing to review the Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act in the upcoming fiscal year, which begins in October.

The Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act sets a minimum number of paid sick days for eligible employees. The law also requires the city to conduct an annual assessment of the program. Two years later, the Washington Post reports that we are still waiting.

“D.C. was one of the leaders, and now we might be falling behind,” says Ari Weisbard, Advocacy Manager with the D.C. Employment Justice Center. Weisbard also points out that even if it were fully implemented, the law does not cover workers who have been with their employer for less than a year.

D.C. Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) stated that “it was a relatively modest requirement, and I hope it’s worked well. But we should find out” if that’s the case. D.C. Council member Phil Mendelson (D-At Large) worried that the law “has been more symbolic than actual.” According to the Washington Post, Mendelson said the council could consider revising the law even if the audit does not take place soon.

The D.C. Employment Justice Center continues to fight for the full implementation of the Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act and expanding accessibility of paid sick days for all workers. To get involved, sign our petition or contact advocacy@dcejc.org for more information.