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March 4, 2008


Bill 17-197, “Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act of 2007” was passed by the DC Council yesterday, but not before several amendments which make the effect of the Bill less onerous to DC businesses. RAMW worked closely with other business groups to ensure passage of these favorable amendments.

Councilmember Jack Evans is to be thanked for spearheading the passage of most of the amendments.  The amendments include a provision which requires employees to work for a year, without a break in service, and at least 1000 hours during the year, before being entitled to paid sick leave.  Another amendment allows a business to apply for a waiver if the law’s requirements cause hardship and another clarified that the notices to be posted under the law must be supplied by the DC government and capped the penalties for failure to post.

RAMW successfully advocated for passage of an amendment that completely exempts tipped waitstaff and bartenders from the provisions of the law.  In addition, these employees are not counted toward the total number of employees for the purposes of determining the size of the business, and the number of days of leave which must be given.  Councilmember Marion Barry is to be thanked for championing this provision.

The Bill requires that employers with 100 or more employees provide 1 hour of paid leave for every 37 hours worked; employers with at least 25, but not more than 99 employees, at least 1 hour for every 43 hours worked; and employers with 24 or fewer employees, not less than 1 hour of paid leave for every 87 hours worked.

Council Chair Vincent Gray, Councilmember David Catania, Councilmember Kwame Brown, Councilmember Harry Thomas, Jr., and Councilmember Yvette Alexander were consistently supportive of the interests of RAMW’s membership throughout both readings of the Bill.  Councilmember Mary Cheh supported all of the amendments which passed yesterday.

Thank you to all members who took the time to send support correspondence and to those who attended Council sessions.

“Guns in Bars” Legislation in Virginia…Not!

  Another landmark for the voice of reason…Governor Tim Kaine of Virginia vetoed the “Guns in Bars” legislation passed by the Virginia Assembly.  This legislation would have made it legal for concealed weapons permit holders to carry their guns into restaurants that serve alcohol.  Not a good idea, according to a wide spectrum of concerned groups including the law enforcement community and those that are most directly affected by such a law:  restaurant owners, employees and patrons.  The legislature may attempt an override of the veto, which would require two-thirds of both chambers of the Assembly.  We will keep you posted on any developments.