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Workers who get injured while on the job in the public sector have fewer benefits and legal rights than those in the private sector. The reason traces back to a lack of D.C. statehood.

D.C. government employees, for example, do not have permanent workers’ compensation, which is when an employer pays for an employee’s medical expenses and some lost wages in exchange for not suing. Even if D.C. tells employees they could never return to work because of an injury, workers’ comp is capped thanks to a 2015 budget bill. 

Some workers had no idea about this until it is too late, according to a new investigation by City Paper contributor Rachel Cohen. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson does not “have much memory” on what the legislative intent was in 2015, despite how consequential it was for workers.       

“Nobody was talking about workers’ comp, it was just an invisible issue,” the former director of legal services at the Employment Justice Center tells Cohen. “There weren’t really many rules that were known. It was like this weird internal system that only people working there knew the rules, and the claimants did not. People’s benefits were being terminated, suspended, modified without notice, and often with little or no input from the worker.”

The investigation is in partnership with Spotlight DC, a group that supports local investigative journalism. Read the whole story online.

—Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com

Unemployment Benefits for Some Local Self-Employed Workers Will Likely End After 39 Weeks

In less than a month, Andy’s unemployment benefits will run out. He is currently on […]

  • As of Oct. 8, D.C. reported two additional deaths related to COVID-19 and 68 new positive cases, bringing the total numbers of people to 634 and 15,765. [EOM]
  • The Trump administration and D.C.’s public health officials finally had their first conversation about contact tracing the White House outbreak. [Post]

By Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • Mayor Muriel Bowser extended the public health emergency through Dec. 31. [WTOP]
  • School Without Walls principal Richard Trogisch left the school abruptly and without explanation. [Post]
  • Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance gives high marks to Robert White, Randy Downs, and Christina Henderson. [Blade]
  • More than 1,000 cops are suing the District for overtime pay. [DCist]
  • A small group of landlords file nearly 50 percent of D.C.’s eviction cases. [Post]

By Mitch Ryals (tips? mryals@washingtoncitypaper.com)

A D.C. Movie Theater Closed for COVID-19 Is Still Popping Popcorn

It’s the color of the petals of a sunflower, but nature had nothing to do […]

  • How the Latino Economic Development Center is helping Latinx and Black food business owners outlast the pandemic. [WCP]
  • City investigating Harry’s after a video surfaces showing police walking through the bar where it appears numerous COVID-19 regulations are not being followed. [DCist]
  • Critic Tom Sietsema’s fall dining guide is here. [Post]

By Laura Hayes (tips? lhayes@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Dupont Underground has a new photography exhibition centered on this summer’s protests against anti-Black racism and police brutality. [DCist]
  • The National Air and Space Museum’s “Air & Scare” program goes virtual this year. [National Air and Space Museum]
  • White House raccoons don’t back down. [Washingtonian]

By Kayla Randall (tips? krandall@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Former Washington Mystics player Yelena Leuchanka has been arrested and jailed in Belarus for protesting the country’s contested election. WNBA and NBA players are demanding that she be released. [Bullets Forever]
  • Alex Smith’s comeback from a gruesome leg injury reached a new chapter this week. Almost two years removed from an injury that nearly cost him his life, Smith has been named the backup quarterback to Kyle Allen for Sunday’s game against the Rams. [NBC Sports Washington]
  • D.C. United lost its fourth straight game last night. The match was delayed by 15 minutes because United arrived late to New York City FC’s stadium after a player on the team tested positive for COVID-19. [Black & Red United]

By Kelyn Soong (tips? ksoong@washingtoncitypaper.com)

City Lights: Anacostia Delta Looks at the Life of Danny Gatton

Anacostia Delta: The Legend of DC’s TeleMasters For years, local filmmakers Bryan Reichhardt and Virginia […]

By Emma Sarappo (tips? esarappo@washingtoncitypaper.com)