Flag of the District of Columbia (Courtesy of dpw.dc.gov)
Flag of the District of Columbia (Courtesy of dpw.dc.gov)

The District is implementing several new laws at the start of 2023.

As of Sunday, the city’s living wage will go up to $16.50. In July, the minimum wage will increase to $17, which will also increase the living wage for non-tipped workers to the same rate.

Also on Sunday, any health benefits plan issued as of Dec. 31, 2022, must give coverage for the cost of medically necessary food. The foods must be a necessity according to a provider for certain diseases or ailments, WTOP reported.

Additionally, as a part of the total eight maximum weeks of present leave that is available to District workers, two weeks of paid medical leave can be utilized, too, as of Sunday. Employees will qualify to get leave for more than one qualifying event per year, within the eight maximum total paid weeks.

Approved battery stewardship groups (producers of covered batteries and battery-containing products) sold or offered to sell in the city should have gotten their battery stewardship plan to the D.C. Department of Energy and Environment by Sunday, WTOP reported.

Beginning on Aug. 1, residents will only be able to dispose of primary or rechargeable batteries through a battery recycling program or other approved means. Another new law deals with the use of the 311 number to request services for dockless vehicles, such as e-bikes or scooters.

Around the first of the new year, the dockless vehicle company must provide information on how to report an illegally parked device to 311.

Also, at the start of the year, retail food stores with a floor area of at least 10,000 square feet, as well as colleges and universities with at least 2,000 residential students, must follow food waste mandates, including making sure proper storage for waste on site.

Other measures include the Parking Cashout Law requiring District employers with 20 or more covered workers that offer a parking benefit to either offer a Clean Air Fringe benefit. The benefit will be for employees getting it to develop a transportation demand management plan or pay a Clean Air Compliance fee. Companies must report to the D.C. Department of Transportation on how they plan to comply with the plan by Jan. 15.

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