In the latest Weekly Wright Report:
- If You Have Employees in D.C., You Have Another New Set of Labor Requirements – read now
- The Intersection of Sci-Fi and the Law Where Time Can Stand Still – read now
If You Have Employees in D.C., You Have Another New Set of Labor Requirements
All employers subject to the District of Columbia’s paid family leave law are required to provide written notice to covered employees by February 1, 2020. The notice, which was finalized by the D.C. Department of Employment Services and posted on their website, available here, includes information regarding employee rights and paid leave benefits available under the paid leave act.
Eligible employees may begin to apply for leave and wage replacement benefits under the law beginning on July 1, 2020. If approved by the Office of Paid Family Leave (OPFL), employees may take up to a maximum of eight (8) weeks of paid leave per year for one or any combination of leave for the following reasons: (1) parental leave for bonding with a new child (up to 8 weeks per year); (2) family leave to care for a family member with a serious health condition (up to 6 weeks a year); and (3) medical leave for the employee’s own serious health condition (up to 2 weeks a year). Employees taking leave under the D.C. Universal Paid Leave Act will receive partial wage replacement benefits from the OPFL, funded by employer payroll taxes.
The Intersection of Sci-Fi and the Law Where Time Can Stand Still
If you are a sci-fi geek like me you are familiar with what is known as a “time dilation field,” an area where time is altered in the dilation field to either speed up or slow down from the perspective of someone outside the dilation field. Astrophysicists postulate that time dilation occurs around blackholes. The theory is that the closer one gets to a blackhole time will become so compressed that to an outside observer it will appear to stand still. Believe it or not, there is a circumstance where “time” can be made to stand still in the context of a bid protest. In Matter of: Miltope, B-416859.2; B-416859.3 (January 8, 2019), Miltope protested its exclusion from the competitive range and subsequent award of a contract to another bidder. The RFP was issued by the Army for multipurpose standard automatic test equipment. The protester contended that the agency altered the settings on its sample (a computer) prior to testing, contrary to the solicitation’s evaluation criteria, resulting in its lower test score and elimination from the competition.
According to the Army, Miltope was the lowest-rated offeror under the technical factor, and Miltope and two other offerors were excluded from the competitive range. Miltope was provided a telephonic debriefing during which it was advised that its proposal was not among the most highly rated proposals even though it was among the most competitively priced proposals. After the debriefing and prior to award, Miltope several times requested that the Army return its sample. Subsequently, the Army awarded the contract to another bidder and later Miltope received its sample back from the Army. Upon receipt, Mitope performed a forensic investigation and testing to determine why its benchmark score was not rated higher. Miltope concluded that agency personnel must have changed the display resolution setting on its sample from 100 to 150 percent prior to testing its sample. Subsequently, Miltope filed this protest well past the normal protest deadlines.
The Army argued that Miltope’s protest should be dismissed as untimely because Miltope had sufficient knowledge as a result of its pre-award debriefing. The GAO noted that the bid protest regulations contain strict rules for the timely submission of protests. Under the rules, a non-solicitation impropriety protest must be filed no later than 10 days after the protester knew, or should have known, of the basis of protest, whichever is earlier. The RFP stated that each offeror’s bid sample unit would be retained by the Government until contract award, unless otherwise requested. Miltope requested the return of its sample. Upon receipt of the sample, Miltope performed its forensic investigation and testing within eight days. The GAO stated that “in circumstances such as here, we will resolve doubts over issues of timeliness in favor of protesters,” and held that on the record the protest was timely. Thus, the inability of the protester to determine the basis for its protest effectively suspended the time for filing a protest until the protester had time to determine the basis for its protest.
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