Author Archives: Aaron Hope

metro

New Employer Transit Benefit Ordinance in Effect

Effective January 1, 2016, businesses, including nonprofits, located in the District of Columbia with 20 or more employees must provide pre-taxed transportation benefits. Under the District of Columbia Employer Transit Benefits Ordinance employers must provide at least 1 of the 3 approved program options.

The first option is a benefit program that allows employees to make a monthly pre-tax election to pay for “commuter highway vehicle, transit, or bicycling benefits” at benefit levels at “least equal to the maximum amount that may be deducted for such programs from an employee’s gross income.”

The second option is an “employer-paid benefit program whereby the employer supplies, at the election of the employee, a transit pass for the public transport system requested by each covered employee or reimbursement of van-pooling or bicycling costs to an amount at least equal to the purchase price of a transit pass for an equivalent trip on public transport.”

The final option is an “employer-provided transportation at no cost to the covered employee in a van-pool or a bus operated by or for the employer.”

For more information or for a consultation regarding your legal issues, please contact McCollum & Associates, LLC, at (301) 864-6070, www.jmlaw.net, or jmccollum@jmlaw.net.

The Numbers

Increase to D.C. Living Wage

On January 1, 2016, the District of Columbia’s living wage increased to $13.85 in accordance with the District of Columbia Living Wage Act of 2006 (“Act”). The Act requires a recipient who receives $100,000 or more in contract or government assistance to pay their affiliated employees no less than the living wage. In addition, subcontractors that receive $15,000 or more from a contract, or receive $50,000 or more from government assistance, “must pay their affiliated employees no less than the living wage; provided, that the funds received by the recipient,” must originate from the District of Columbia government.

An affiliated employee is defined as “any individual employed by a recipient who received compensation directly from government assistance or a contract with the District of Columbia government, including any employee of a contractor or subcontractor of a recipient who performs services pursuant to government assistance or contract.”

For more information or for a consultation regarding your legal issues, please contact McCollum & Associates, LLC, at (301) 864-6070, www.jmlaw.net, or jmccollum@jmlaw.net.

Judge&Gavel

Inappropriate Penalty for Public Employee’s Misconduct

Is it inappropriate to consider a public employee’s denial of misconduct when considering potential for rehabilitation?

In Love v. District of Columbia Office of Employee Appeals, Respondents (both former employees) refused to acknowledge that their actions in failing to classify properly inmates, resulting in the inmates’ escape, were either wrong or mistakes. Both officers admitted that the actions occurred, but stood firm in their belief that those actions were correct in the situation.

OEA found that Respondents’ actions were negligent. Both Respondents were fired from their public employment positions. Throughout the numerous appeals and reviews, Respondents continued to assert that their actions were not negligent and that they had not made mistakes. OEA determined that the Respondents could not be rehabilitated since they would not acknowledge that their actions were wrong.  And since the Respondents could not be rehabilitated, the Respondents were terminated properly, according to OEA.

According to the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, it was inappropriate for the Department of Corrections and OEA to use an employee’s failure to acknowledge his/her action as wrong or as a mistake in determining a public employee’s potential for rehabilitation.  A public employee’s ability to be rehabilitated is one factor considered by an employer when determining an appropriate punishment.

In sum, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals determined that a public employee is not required to agree with the public employer’s view of the misconduct in order to have potential for rehabilitation.

For more information or for a consultation regarding your legal issues, please contact McCollum & Associates, LLC, at (301) 864-6070www.jmlaw.net, or jmccollum@jmlaw.net.