In the District of Columbia, basically all employees or thereabouts are required to have workers’ comp coverage. The rule actually states that employers with one or more employees have to have this type of insurance. As I said, basically, all employers in Washington D.C. should.
One of the other requirements of the Washington D.C. workers’ comp labor law is that all employers also have to have a workers’ compensation poster put up in their work site so that all of your employees understand their rights and responsibilities under the law. More on the employees’ responsibilities later.
Let’s first look at the workers’ rights when it comes to workers’ comp. Remember, the general rule about workers’ comp is that it is meant to protect them if they get hurt or sick on the job. The coverage assures your workers that they will get the medical care that they need after they are hurt, especially the emergency medical care that is sometimes required after a serious injury at the work site. It also assures them that they will be compensated for any lost wages due to time away from work because of their injury.
In many cases, workers who suffer serious injuries cannot go to work for weeks, maybe even months, after the injury occurs. They are entitled to certain amounts of disability payments depending on what sort of injury and disability it is, whether it is a temporary partial disability or a permanent full disability, meaning that their injuries are serious enough to keep them from returning to their former jobs forever.
Much if not all of this information can be found in the workers’ comp poster that you are required under Washington D.C. labor law to post on your work sites. But as we will shortly see, the poster does more than just allow you to abide by the law.
As I was saying, the mandatory workers’ compensation posters in the Washington, D.C. area also serve other interests besides just you following the labor law of the land. The workers’ comp poster also allows your employees to learn what their responsibilities are under the workers’ comp labor laws. The poster can help teach them, for instance, what they are required to do when an injury occurs on the job.
The poster, for instance, tells employees that under the law they are required to report their injuries as quickly as possible to you their employers, as well as to the Office of Workers’ Compensation. Even if the employee doesn’t think much of their injury, and the injury isn’t an emergency, they must still report it to you.
There is a special form that your employees must use to report these injuries, called the Notice of Accidental Injury or Occupational Disease, which you should have copies around the office of. After the employee completes it and signs it, they have to mail it in to the Office of Workers’ Comp. They should also mail or hand you a copy of the completed form as well.
In the Washington D.C. system, employees can choose which doctors that they go to for their medical care. In some other states we looked at before, if you can remember that far back, the states make it so that employers and their insurance companies can decide what doctors the employees go to.
In the event that an employee does not report the injury to the Workers’ Comp Office, then it is up to you the employer to notify them and your insurance company, preferably no more than 3 days—no more than 10 days at the latest—after the injury was reported to you by the employee.
Washington D.C. folks may complain that they don’t have state status. Their license plates may say “Taxation without representation.” (And if you were wondering, that’s not a good thing. A few generations ago, Americans started a revolution for just that same complaint.) But Washington D.C. employers still have the honor of following many of the same labor laws that employers in the 50 state have to follow.
One such labor law in Washington D.C. is the new hire reporting labor law, which requires all employers in the District of Columbia to report their new hires and re-hires to the government of the District of Columbia. The official law is the District of Columbia Official Code number 46-22-06.
As with in the 50 states, the Washington D.C. law gives employers a certain amount of time to report their new hires. In the case of the District of Columbia, it is actually 20 days from the first day of work of the new employee.
One of the neat unique things about the Washington D.C. law on new hire reporting is the set of exceptions to the rules. Because Washington is the seat of power of the government, and many employees and new hires in the area are government workers and or government workers under cover, the new hire law in the District of Columbia does not include federal or District employees who are performing intelligence or counterintelligence. In other words, if you have recently hired a spy, you do not have to report them as a new hire if they are determined to be doing work that cannot be revealed without risking the safety of that employee or ruin their secret mission.
I would assume, too, for these top secret employees that their employment application, resume, background check form, and employment offer and acknowledgment form would be top secret too!