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District of Columbia - Protecting Business and Workers from COVID-19

On December 23, 2020, District of Columbia legislation (DC B 871) passed congressional review and temporarily requires all DC employers to:

  • Adopt and implement social distancing policies requiring personal protective equipment be worn by employees while in the workplace; and
  • Provide employees with that personal protective equipment.

Employers may require that employees inform them of a positive test for an active COVID 19 infection; however, employers may not disclose the employee’s identity except to the Department of Health or as required by law. Employers may also prohibit employees who test positive for COVID-19 from entering the workplace until either a medical professional has cleared them to return or their quarantine period ends.

The law also provides employee protections against employer retaliation when:

  • The employee refuses to serve a customer or client, or to work within 6 feet of an individual, who is not complying with the workplace protections.
  • The employee tested positive for COVID-19 so long as they did not physically report to the workplace after receiving a positive test result.
  • The employee was exposed to someone with COVID-19 and needs to quarantine.
  • The employee is sick and is waiting for a COVID-19 test result.
  • The employee is caring for or seeks to provide care for someone who is sick with COVID-19 symptoms or who is quarantined.
  • The employee acts to either secure any legal right or protection under the law or to prevent or stop a violation of it.

The temporary law took effect on December 23, 2020 and expires August 4, 2021.