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Employment obligations for D.C. nonprofits

On Behalf of | Sep 6, 2023 | Employment Law

Nonprofit organizations in Washington, D.C., operate in a unique environment. This is true not only because of their geographic location, but also because of the district’s unique laws. As a result, you may wonder if you have any specific employment obligations to your employees that differ from those of non-profits in other states or jurisdictions. Simply put, the answer is yes.

D.C. Non-Profit Corporation Act

The D.C. Non-Profit Corporation Act of 2010 controls the formation and operation of non-profit corporations in the District. Of course, if your organization is a Section 501 non-profit, it qualifies, but this act can also apply to any organization that does not generate profits for individuals, or that is primarily or exclusively operated for a charitable purpose (humanitarian, religious, etc.).

Whistleblower protections

As to employment obligations, this act creates whistleblower protections under Subchapter VI. As the employer, you cannot take any negative employment actions against an employee who makes a good faith report of violations of law or public policy. And, that employee can sue your non-profit for violations to recover damages, attorneys’ fees and any other reasonable costs.

Conflict of interest

Another unique employment obligation for non-profits in D.C. involves the conflict-of-interest provisions in the act. Your non-profit must adopt COI policies that cover your employees, agents, officers and directors on how to disclose conflicts with the non-profit itself, activities and transactions.

The COI policies must include periodic reviews, what is a conflict, and how to report it.

D.C. Human Rights Act

The D.C. Human Rights Act expands the classes of people protected against discrimination and harassment past what is federally prohibited. Protected classes in DC include source of income, political affiliation, national origin, race, place of residence or business, color, sex, disability, matriculation, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, genetic information and family responsibilities.

D.C. Family and Medical Leave Act

The DCFMLA also expands the FMLA. It increases the number of unpaid FMLA weeks from 12 to 16 in a 24-month period (instead of a 12-month period).

D.C. Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act

The ASSLA mandates nonprofits (and other employers) to provide paid sick leave if they have worked at least one year and 1,000 hours during the previous 12 months. The amount is based on your organization’s size, but it ranges from 3-7 days per year.

Of course, this is by no means exhaustive. There are other laws you need to know about. These include the D.C. Minimum Wage Act Revision Act, D.C. Wage Payment and Collection Law and D.C. Wage Theft Prevention Amendment Act.