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.