Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter I. General.


§ 1–501. Oath to be taken by officers.

All civil officers in the District shall, before they act as such, respectively take and subscribe an oath or affirmation to support the Constitution of the United States, and faithfully to discharge the duties of their respective offices; and the oath or affirmation provided for by this section shall be taken and subscribed, certified, and recorded, in such manner and form as may be prescribed by law.


(R.S., D.C., § 85; June 20, 1874, 18 Stat. 116, ch. 337, § 2; June 11, 1878, 20 Stat. 103, ch. 180, § 2.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-501.

1973 Ed., § 1-308.

Mayor's Orders

Establishment of District of Columbia Board of Appeals and Review: See Mayor’s Order 96-27, March 5, 1996 ( 43 DCR 1367).


§ 1–502. Reports by custodians of property.

All persons in the employment of the government of the District of Columbia having, as a result of such employment, custody of or chargeable with property, other than real estate, belonging to the District of Columbia, shall, at such times and in such form as the Mayor of the District of Columbia shall require, make returns to said Mayor of all such property remaining in their possession, and the condition thereof, and, with reference to all property that may have come into their custody that shall have been consumed in use, a statement showing the quantity thereof and the purpose for which used.


(July 21, 1914, 38 Stat. 553, ch. 191, § 7; Mar. 3, 1915, 38 Stat. 925, ch. 80, § 7.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-502.

1973 Ed., § 1-309.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 1–503. Employment to be authorized and compensation to be paid from specific appropriations; moneys returned to Treasury.

No civil officer, clerk, draftsman, compensation messenger, assistant messenger, mechanic, watchman, laborer, or other employee shall, after June 30, 1905, be employed in any office, department, or other branch of the government of the District of Columbia or be paid from any appropriation made for contingent expenses, or for any specific or general purpose, unless such employment is authorized and payment therefor specifically provided in the law granting the appropriation or is authorized as hereinafter provided, and then only for services actually rendered in connection with and for the purposes of the appropriation from which payment is made and at the rate of compensation usual and proper for such services, and on and after July 1, 1905, all moneys accruing from lapsed salaries, or for unused appropriations for salaries, shall be covered into the Treasury as are the balances of other unexpended appropriations for the support of the government of the District of Columbia.


(Mar. 3, 1905, 33 Stat. 913, ch. 1406, § 2.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-503.

1973 Ed., § 1-310.


§ 1–504. Designation by Mayor of Dr. King’s birthday as holiday.

The Mayor is authorized to designate the holiday in honor of Dr. King as a holiday for all employees of the government of the District of Columbia. Employees who are required to work on that holiday shall be entitled to such pay as they are entitled to on other holidays during which they work.


(July 12, 1977, D.C. Law 2-13, § 3, 24 DCR 1443.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-504.

1973 Ed., § 1-314b.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-632.06.

Cross References

Holidays, recognition of Dr. King’s birthday, see § 28-2701.

Merit system, continuation of existing laws, see § 1-632.06.


§ 1–505. Effect of signature by mark upon payment of compensation.

After May 10, 1926, in the payment of compensation of per diem employees of the government of the District of Columbia, a signature by mark duly witnessed by an employee of such District designated for that purpose by the Mayor shall be deemed a full legal acquittance as to such signature.


(May 10, 1926, 44 Stat. 453, ch. 276, § 7.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-505.

1973 Ed., § 1-315.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of the Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 1–506. Refusal to give testimony relating to office or employment.

(a) Any officer or employee of the District who refuses to testify upon matters relating to his office or employment in any proceeding wherein he is a defendant or is called as a witness upon the ground that his answer may tend to incriminate him or compel him to be a witness against himself, or who refuses so to testify on such ground when called by a grand jury or a congressional committee, shall forfeit his office or employment and any emolument, perquisite, or benefit (by way of pension or otherwise) arising therefrom, and be disqualified from holding any public office or employment under the District.

(b) Any former officer or employee of the District who refuses to testify upon matters relating to his former office or employment in any proceeding wherein he is a defendant or is called as a witness upon the ground that his answer may tend to incriminate him or compel him to be a witness against himself, or who refuses so to testify on such ground when called by a grand jury or a congressional committee, shall forfeit any emolument, perquisite, or benefit (by way of pension or otherwise) arising from such former office or employment, and be disqualified from holding any public office or employment under the District.

(c) If the retirement pay, pension, or annuity of any officer or employee or former officer or employee of the District is forfeited under this section, there shall be paid to such individual a sum equal to (1) the total amount paid by him as contributions toward such retirement pay, pension, or annuity, plus any accrued interest attributable to such contributions, less (2) the total amount of such retirement pay, pension, or annuity received by him prior to such forfeiture.


(June 29, 1953, 67 Stat. 108, ch. 159, title IV, § 409.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-506.

1973 Ed., § 1-319.


§ 1–507. Wages, salaries, annuities, retirement, disability benefits, and other remuneration based on District employment subject to attachment garnishment, and assignment for child support, maintenance, alimony payments, and other obligations.

(a) After July 25, 1977, wages, salaries, annuities, retirement and disability benefits, and other remuneration based upon employment, or other income owed by, due from, and payable by the government of the District of Columbia to any individual shall be subject to attachment, garnishment, assignment, or withholding under the District of Columbia Child Support Enforcement Amendment Act of 1985, provided the levy is predicated upon the entry of a judgment, order, or decree determining the individual’s legal obligation to provide child support or to make maintenance or alimony payments. Whenever wages, salaries, annuities, retirement and disability benefits, or other remuneration based upon employment is sought to be levied pursuant to this section, the legal process shall be such as is usual in other cases of attachment, garnishment, assignment, or withholding under the District of Columbia Child Support Enforcement Amendment Act of 1985. The government of the District of Columbia shall be subject to process in the same manner and to the same extent as if it were a private person, except that no writ or similar process served under the authority of this section shall be honored by the government of the District of Columbia unless a certified copy of the judgment, order, or decree upon which the levy is predicated has been provided to the Mayor of the District of Columbia or his duly authorized designee.

(b) After October 1, 1997, wages salaries, annuities, retirement and disability benefits, and other remuneration based upon employment, or other income owed by, due from, and payable by the government of the District of Columbia to any individual shall be subject to attachment, garnishment, assignment, or withholding in accordance with subchapter III of Chapter 5 of Title 16 of the District of Columbia Code in the same manner and to the same extent as if the government of the District of Columbia were a private person.


(July 26, 1977, D.C. Law 2-14, § 2, 24 DCR 1774; Feb. 24, 1987, D.C. Law 6-166, § 33(d), 33 DCR 6710; Aug. 5, 1997, 111 Stat. 784, Pub. L. 105-33, § 11713.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-516.

1973 Ed., § 1-323.

Cross References

Attachment and garnishment of wages, see § 16-571 et seq.

Child Support Enforcement Amendment Act of 1985, see § 46-201 et seq.

References in Text

The “District of Columbia Child Support Enforcement Amendment Act of 1985,” referred to in the first and second sentences of (a), is D.C. Law 6-166.


§ 1–508. Technical assistance. [Expired]

Expired.


(Aug. 5, 1997, 111 Stat. 786, Pub. L. 105-33, § 11722.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-517.

Cross References

Merit system, effective date provisions, see § 1-636.02

Effective Dates

Section 11721 of Title XI of Pub. L. 105-33, 111 Stat. 786, the National Capital Revitalization and Self-Government Improvement Act of 1997, provided that except as otherwise provided in this title, the provisions of this title shall take effect on the later of October 1, 1997, or the day the District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority certifies that the financial plan and budget for the District government for fiscal year 1998 meet the requirements of section 201(c)(1) of the District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Act of 1995, as amended by this title.

Editor's Notes

Pursuant to § 11722 of Pub. L. 105-33, this section expired effective August 6, 2000.


§ 1–509. Allowances for privately owned vehicles for employees.

The Mayor may establish rates and reimburse employees, by regulation, for privately owned automobiles and motorcycles used for the performance of official duties. The rates established by the Mayor shall not exceed the maximum prevailing rates for such vehicles as prescribed in the Federal Property Management Regulations 101-7 (Federal Travel Regulations). The proposed regulations shall be submitted to the Council for a 45-day period of review, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, legal holidays, and days of Council recess. If the Council does not approve or disapprove the regulations, in whole or in part, by resolution within the 45-day review period, the proposed rules shall be deemed approved.


(Oct. 19, 2000, D.C. Law 13-172, § 3202, 47 DCR 6308.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-518.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90-day) addition of section, see § 3202 of the Fiscal Year 2001 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2000 (D.C. Act 13-376, July 24, 2000, 47 DCR 6574).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 3202 of the Fiscal Year 2001 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2000 (D.C. Act 13-438, October 20, 2000, 47 DCR 8740).


§ 1–510. Exemption of District government employees on compressed schedule from federal overtime requirements.

(a) In general. — Section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act (29 U.S.C. § 207) shall not apply to the hours of an employee of the District of Columbia government which constitute a compressed schedule.

(b) Compressed schedule defined. — In this section, the term “compressed schedule” means:

(1) In the case of a full-time employee, an 80-hour biweekly basic work requirement which is scheduled for less than 10 workdays; and

(2) In the case of a part-time employee, a biweekly basic work requirement of less than 80 hours which is scheduled for less than 10 workdays.

(c) Effective date. — This section shall apply with respect to hours occurring on or after October 30, 2004.


(Oct. 30, 2004, 118 Stat. 2230, Pub. L. 108-386, § 6.)

Effective Dates

Section 9 of Pub. L. 108-386, 118 Stat. 2228, the 2004 District of Columbia Omnibus Authorization Act, provided: “The amendments made by this section shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act Oct. 30, 2004.”


§ 1–511. Review of personnel practices.

(a) The District of Columbia Department of Human Resources shall conduct a comprehensive review of all regulations, policies, and standard operating procedures under its control to ensure compliance with all local and federal laws.

(b) On or before March 1, 2012, and every 3 months thereafter until this review is complete, the District of Columbia Department of Human Resources shall report to the Council on the status of this review, the components that have been completed, the components that remain outstanding, and the projected timeline for completion of this project.


(Mar. 14, 2012, D.C. Law 19-115, § 3, 59 DCR 461.)