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July 1 marks a milestone. Labor advocates have been fighting for years to provide basic compensation to workers, and their efforts materialize on Wednesday. Workers now must be paid a minimum of $15 an hour and be guaranteed paid family leave. And tipped workers’ base pay also increases to $5 an hour (RIP Initiative 77). 

How does it all work? The minimum wage increases by a dollar to $15, regardless of the size of the employer. And if a workers’ hourly tips (averaged weekly) and base minimum wage do not add up to D.C.’s full minimum wage, the employer must pay the difference. Employees can also start applying for paid family leave online or by phone, and apply for benefits only after the qualifying event has occurred. If eligible, the program offers workers up to eight weeks of paid parental leave, along with up to six weeks to care for a sick family member or two weeks to care for personal medical needs. Check out the paid family leave website for more details.  

Have more questions? DC Jobs with Justice will host a “know your rights” webinar to help residents make sense of the labor laws. Attorney General Karl Racine and Department of Employment Services Director Dr. Unique Morris-Hughes will be joining the webinar over Zoom at 4 p.m. (More information HERE.) 

The benefits could not have kicked in at a more opportune time. 

“The pandemic has laid bare the essential work done by minimum wage workers, as well as the critical need to take time off because of a health emergency or major family event. Black and immigrant workers are more likely to have to report to work outside the home, and have therefore been exposed to the virus at higher rates,” said Elizabeth Falcon, the Executive Director of DC Jobs With Justice, in a statement. But the fight is not over. “$15 is still far from living wage in D.C,” Falcon tells DCist.

The benefits of a $15 minimum wage and paid family leave are well researched. Good for the economy and good for your health.  Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com)

CITY DESK LINKS, by Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • At Wednesday’s press conference, Mayor Muriel Bowser says there were already four serious incidents related to fireworks, including an 11-year-old who was seriously burned. Concerned about firework safety? Call the Fire Marshal’s Office at 202-727-1614. Bowser also says the Trump administration’s fireworks show on federal land, which might attract thousands, is not following public health advice regarding COVID-19. [Twitter

  • As of July 1, D.C. reported two additional deaths related to COVID-19 and 38 new positive cases, bringing the total numbers to 553 and 10,365, respectively. DC Health confirmed a new peak in cases, resetting the city’s count in community spread to four days of decrease. [EOM

  • A 12-month renovation project at Franklin Park leaves people experiencing homelessness unsure of where to go. [StreetSense

  • Councilmembers finesse Bowser’s budget proposal to incentivize affordable housing construction in wealthier neighborhoods by strengthening affordability requirements and dropping unit count limits to encourage more types of projects. [BizJournal]

  • Ivy City is hosting a children-led march calling for the restoration of the historic Crummell School as a community center. [Twitter]

  • Does your home have a high flood risk score? [UrbanTurf]

LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Mitch Ryals (tips? mryals@washingtoncitypaper.com

LL is on vacation. He’ll return next week. 

YOUNG & HUNGRY LINKS, by Laura Hayes (tips? lhayes@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • How people who miss restaurants are recreating them at home. [Post]

  • Bar seating is still off limits in Virginia as the commonwealth enters Phase 3. [DCist]

  • Call Your Mother pulls Drake from walls, renames bagels after internet backlash. [Eater DC]

ARTS LINKS, by Kayla Randall(tips? krandall@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • The Arts Club team spends some time on an island with a Gullah family in Daughters of the Dust. [WCP]

  • Smithsonian Associates has tons of programming to stream this summer. [Smithsonian Associates]

  • An inside look at local pet photographer Sarah Meashaw’s wild and wonderful work. [Washingtonian]

SPORTS LINKS, by Kelyn Soong (tips? ksoong@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • The Washington Spirit returns to the field for the NWSL Challenge Cup at 10 p.m. tonight to take on the North Carolina Courage. [CBS Sports]

  • John Wall won’t be joining the Wizards in Orlando. [Bullets Forever]

  • Ron Rivera says the debate over the local NFL’s racist team name is “a discussion for another time.” [Post]

CITY LIGHTS, by Emma Sarappo (Love this section? Get the full newsletter here. Tips? esarappo@washingtoncitypaper.com)

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