§ 32–561.01. Definitions.
For the purposes of this subchapter, the term:
(1) "Director" means the director of DOES.
(2) "DOES" means the Department of Employment Services.
(3) "Family and medical leave" means leave available under subchapter I of this chapter.
(4) "Paid sick leave" means leave available under subchapter III of this chapter.
(5) "Universal paid leave" means leave benefits available under subchapter IV of this chapter.
(6) "Workplace leave" means universal paid leave, paid sick leave, family and medical leave, or any other job-protected leave to which an individual may be entitled under federal or District law.
§ 32–561.02. Workplace Leave Navigators Program.
(a) There is established a Workplace Leave Navigators Program ("Program"), which the Director shall administer.
(b) The Program shall be funded with monies from the Universal Paid Leave Administration Fund, established pursuant § 32-551.02.
(c) The Program shall provide funds to:
(1) Organizations with demonstrated experience representing employees in matters related to workplace leave solely for the purpose of specific assistance to individuals in obtaining their workplace leave and benefits; and
(2) Nonprofit organizations, businesses, or professional or trade associations with experience representing or assisting employers with the administration or understanding of workplace leave laws for the purpose of providing assistance to employers to share best practices or guidance regarding how to:
(A) Coordinate and accommodate different types of workplace leave, along with employer-sponsored disability plans; and
(B) Ensure compliance with workplace leave laws.
(d)(1) Program funds issued to organizations for the purposes described in subsection (c)(1) of this section:
(A) Shall be used solely to assist individuals with:
(i) Filing an initial claim for universal paid leave;
(ii) Determining the type of workplace leave or employer-offered leave, including an employer-sponsored disability plan, for which an individual may be eligible;
(iii) Filing an administrative complaint related to the provision of workplace leave, including a complaint of retaliation;
(iv) Responding to or appealing an initial administrative decision or determination related to workplace leave; or
(v) Providing an employer with appropriate documentation supporting a request for workplace leave; and
(B) May be used to provide training and guidance to medical providers or healthcare trade or professional associations on the requirements of workplace leave laws pertaining to documentation supporting the need for leave.
(2) Program funds issued to non-profits, businesses, or professional or trade associations assisting employers for the purposes described in subsection (c)(2) of this section:
(A) Shall be used to:
(i) Assist employers with coordinating the employer's workplace leave programs, including employer-sponsored disability plans, with workplace leave laws; provided, that Program funds shall not be used to decide an employee's eligibility for a workplace leave program or for the pre-adjudication of a workplace leave claim;
(ii) Provide guidance, including best practices, to an employer on what an employer must do to comply with District and federal workplace leave laws and regulations;
(iii) Aid employers in responding to DOES's request for information from the employers, including requests related to claim determinations made by DOES;
(iv) Responding to an administrative complaint related to the provision of workplace leave; provided, that Program funds shall not be used to respond to a complaint of retaliation;
(v) Responding to or appealing an initial administrative decision or determination related to workplace leave; and
(B) May be used to provide training and guidance to medical providers or healthcare trade or professional associations on the requirements of workplace leave laws.
(e) Funds for the Program may not be used to prosecute or defend claims in a lawsuit related to the provision of workplace leave.
(f)(1) The Director shall issue Program funds through competitive grants administered pursuant to the requirements set forth in part B of subchapter XII-A of Chapter 3 of Title 1 and § 1-328.05(b-1).
(2) The Director shall issue an initial Request for Applications no later than October 31, 2020, and annually thereafter. The Director may issue multi-year grants, subject to the availability of appropriations.
(3) In a fiscal year, the amount of grants the Director issues for the purposes described in subsection (c)(1) and (2) of this section shall account for the need for each such purpose, based on the potential numbers of employees and employers to be served.