Protecting Injured Government Workers Act of 2012

Over 2,000 injured D.C. government employees go through the Public Sector Workers Compensation Program each year. These benefits are intended to give injured government workers financial security when injured on the job and help them pay for their medical care, rent and other basic necessities. Unfortunately, due to a decade of poor administration and noncompliance, formerly middle-class injured workers have been driven into poverty. Instead of protecting injured D.C. employees, we have allowed thousands of District residents to fall into poverty as a result of their workplace injuries. In 2004 and 2006, the D.C. Council passed legislation to reduce the time for resolving injured workers’ eligibility, to create penalties for late payments to injured workers, and to codify the preference for an injured worker’s treating physician’s opinion when determining work eligibility over that of a government-designated doctor who had very limited information regarding the claimant’s health condition. These reforms were designed to ensure that injured D.C. employees would not languish without any income while they were unable to do work. Unfortunately, the FY 2011 budget reversed some of these legislative victories. The Council granted government appointed doctors with limited knowledge of a client’s health condition greater weight in determining work eligibility, reducing the role of treating physicians. The Council also repealed protections for workers that suffered mental trauma, allowed workers to be lose their benefits even before an Administrative Law Judge has the opportunity to evaluate their side of the story, and capped benefits for injuries that ORM classifies as “temporary” even though they continue for more than 500 weeks. These repeals endangered injured workers’ right to fairly access...

Community Applauds DC Council for Passing Emergency Detainer Compliance Act on Day of S-Comm Activation

For Immediate Release Contact: Sarahi Uribe, NDLON, 202.285.9673 sarahi@ndlon.org Community Applauds DC Council for Passing Emergency Detainer Compliance Act on Day of S-Comm Activation Washington DC Maintains Bright Line Between Police and Wrongful Deportation Policies June 05, 2012. Washington, DC. The Washington, DC Council was praised by a wide coalition of community, faith, and labor organizations for passing the Immigration Detainer Compliance Emergency Amendment Act in response to today’s federally imposed activation of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s controversial “Secure Communities” deportation program. The act, which was introduced by Councilmember Mendelson, will limit Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s use of District facilities and equipment and also narrows S-Comm’s deportation dragnet by only responding to immigration detention requests for individuals who are over 18 and have been convicted of a dangerous crime. Last fall the permanent version of the act, the Immigration Detainer Compliance Amendment, was unanimously co-sponsored by all DC councilmembers. The act builds upon the Mayor’s Order 2011-174 (October 19, 2011) that prohibits all public safety agencies from inquiring about individuals’ immigration status or transmitting information about immigration status. Sarahi Uribe of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network says, “We’re proud to live in a city with a bright line guarding against unjust deportation policies that erode trust, divide our communities, and endanger our families. DC has joined a growing trend of local governments that care about protecting the safety and rights of their residents. When DHS Secretary Napolitano spread S-Comm throughout the country, it triggered a movement that is growing stronger by the day to resist and overcome the criminalization of immigrants.” Paromita Shah of National Immigration Project says,...