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Recap of DOES Meeting – Sept 25


Recap of DOES Meeting – Sept 25

CHAMPS hosted staff from the DC Department of Employment Services to answer member questions about unemployment insurance, paid family leave, and wage hour.

DOES answered questions and provided several resources in response to questions – those questions and resources are summarized below.


CHAMPS members noted that it is difficult for an employer to get reach a person who can answer employer questions at the UI office. For UI Tax inquiries, please contact (202) 698-7550.  Additionally, UI Tax inquiries can be directed to the following email – be sure to include the ATTN info:

  • For UI Tax Status inquiries, primarily, liability, registration, and maintenance of general account-related information, please email – ATTN: Status Unit.
  • For UI Tax Accounting inquiries, primarily, wage reporting, wage amendments, and payments, please email – ATTN: Accounting Unit.
  • For UI Tax Technical-based support inquiries for DOES’ Employer Self-Service Portal (ESSP), please email – ATTN: ESSP Support Team
  • For UI Tax Treasury Offset Program (TOP) or Notice of Intent to Offset inquiries, please email – ATTN: Collections Team.

For UI Benefit inquiries, please contact (202) 724-7000.  Additionally, UI Benefits inquiries can be directed to the following email:

How to appeal a UI benefit through the Office of Administrative Hearings

  • For the Office of Administrative Hearings, please contact (202) 442-9094 for help and information.  Additionally, appeals may be filed by email at OAH.FILING@DC.GOV
  • The unemployment insurance appeal form can be found here.  Please read and adhere to all instructions, as appeals must be filed with the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) which is not part of DOES.

DC Chamber of Commerce has an Employer Advocacy Program (EAP).  Please note the following details about EAP:

  • Free Legal Representation – The DC Chamber provides attorneys to guide business owners and nonprofit leaders operating in the city through the Unemployment Compensation (or Unemployment Insurance – UI) litigation process at the Department of Employment Services (DOES) and the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH).
  • EAP matches employers with an attorney who can help them through the appeal process if a former employee is attempting to claim unemployment benefits that they want to challenge.
  • Free seminars are offered quarterly and EAP advises on HR methods, separations (terminations and resignations), and UI hearing preparation.
  • For additional information contact Ryan Jones, EAP Legal Advisor, Voice: 202.624.0600 or Email:


CHAMPS members questions focused on reimbursement of overpayments of PFL in the first quarter, and some of the logistics of how exactly the benefit determination would be made, how notification to employers would occur, and how the benefit intersects with employer leave.

Members also wanted to know how third party payroll administrators could get in touch with DOES about paid family leave and payment issues. That number is (202) 899-3700.

To answer some of the employer questions on how benefits and leave will work, DOES is releasing a handbook in the next few weeks focused on benefits. CHAMPS will circulate this to members once it is available.


Members had questions about hiring students and how interns must be compensated and what the requirements are for an intern.

DOES staff noted that all employees, regardless of age (such as youth hired part time in summer) must be paid the Federal minimum wage. Youth hired through the DC Summer Youth Program can be paid a lower wage, but must come through the Youth program. If members are interested in hiring youth through the DC Summer Youth Program, please contact Program Manager Christina Brew at

For interns, businesses should be sure to obtain the following information:

The Office of Youth Programs generally requires the following across all of our programs:

  • Proof of DC residency
  • Proof of Age
  • Proof of SSN
  • Permission to Work in the United States
  • Photo ID (School or State)
  • Parental Consent (if under 18)

As it relates to school requirements, the institution that the intern attends should be contacted directly as they may have additional or more specific requirements.

The Department of Labor has a good source of guidance on the requirements for paid internships as defined by the Fair Labor Standards Act:

DC’s Notice of Hire Form

Members had questions about what this form was, why it was required, and what the purpose is. DOES responded:

  • The Wage Theft Prevention Amendment Act of 2014 requires all District of Columbia employers to provide a “Notice of Hire Form” to employees. Failure to provide the required “Notice of Hire Form” shall result in the imposition of an administrative penalty of $500 for each employee that fails to receive the “Notice of Hire Form”. A “Notice of Hire Form” template is provided that outlines all items that need to be included in the document.

DC On-The-Job Training Programs – members had questions about what training programs are available to help them hire qualified employees. DC’s OJT program was highlighted.

On-the-Job (OJT) training is a workforce development strategy where employers of all sizes have an opportunity to train, mentor and hire candidates as they become fully proficient in a particular skillset or job function. Through the OJT model, candidates receive the hands-on training necessary to increase their skills, knowledge and capacity to perform the designated job functions. The OJT strategy ensures unemployed and underemployed jobseekers have a chance to enter and reenter the workforce through an “earn and learn” model. This streamlined approach developed between select employers and the Department of Employment Services (DOES) allows employers to be reimbursed at an established wage rate in exchange for the training provided to participating OJT candidates. This program could work for retailers and restaurant workers who are full-time employees, not seasonal.

If they meet the eligibility requirements below, DOES OJT team can develop a training plan which could include existing training that retailers/restaurants currently use.  

Employer Eligibility

Employers participating in the On-the-Job training program must demonstrate that they have the fiscal and operational capacity to administer the proposed program. The following documentation will be used to assess eligibility:

  • IRS Form W-9 (signed and dated)
  • Valid and current business license
  • Documentation proving taxes are in good standing in the firm’s residing state
  • Proof of Liability Insurance and Workers’ Compensation
  • Supervisor or Trainer’s Resume
  • Employer Profile and Job Order in DC Networks
  • Training Outline (training time frame, reimbursement amount and hourly wage)
  • Assurance Document
  • Worksite Review

Position Requirements

Positions considered for the On-the-Job Training program require:

  • Minimum of 32 hours per week
  • Pay rate between $14 and $23.95 per hour
  • W-2 tax status
  • 3:1 Employee to Trainee Ratio

Seasonal jobs are not considered under OJT.

For restaurants interested in students in culinary training programs, there are two in DC – one at Ballou and one at Roosevelt High Schools.