So awhile back, I wrote a blog post about DC laws that were passed but not implemented. But we just ran into the opposite issue – apparently DC has implemented a law that doesn’t – technically – exist! Let me explain.
My law partner, Liz Torphy-Donzella (who is as much of an employment law nerd as I), was reviewing the discrimination law in D.C. with regard to disabilities. Although the D.C. Human Rights Act clearly prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability, she realized that, unlike the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, the law does not actually contain a reasonable accommodation obligation. This could be significant, because the ADA (and its reasonable accommodation obligation) applies only to employers with 15 or more employees. So smaller employers are not covered by federal law – but state laws may kick in. And that is the case in D.C., whose anti-discrimination law applies to all employers, including those smaller ones.