Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter IX. Bonus Pay and Special Awards Pay.


§ 1–551.01. Short title.

This subchapter may be cited as the "Bonus Pay and Special Awards Pay Act of 2016".


(Oct. 8, 2016, D.C. Law 21-160, § 1001, 63 DCR 10775.)


§ 1–551.02. Bonus pay and special awards pay; generally.

(a) Unless authorized pursuant to this subchapter, no funds shall be used to support the categories of bonus pay or special awards pay. The prohibition on the use of funds under this subchapter shall include funds appropriated to any agency, department, unit, or instrumentality of the District of Columbia government, and, unless specifically authorized in a grant agreement, any funds disbursed by the District through a grant.

(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, an agency, department, unit, or instrumentality of the District of Columbia government may use funds to support the categories of bonus pay or special awards pay if the agency, department, unit, or instrumentality establishes a Performance Based Rewards Program pursuant to § 1-551.03 and meets the other requirements of this subchapter.

(c) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, each personnel authority of the Council, the Office of the District of Columbia Auditor, and the Office of Advisory Neighborhood Commissions may use funds to support bonus pay or special awards pay.


(Oct. 8, 2016, D.C. Law 21-160, § 1002, 63 DCR 10775; Dec. 13, 2017, D.C. Law 22-33, § 1072(a), 64 DCR 7652.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 1072(a) of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-167, Oct. 24, 2017, 64 DCR 10802).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 1072(a) of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-104, July 20, 2017, 64 DCR 7032).


§ 1–551.03. Bonus pay and special awards pay; Performance Based Rewards Program.

(a) In order to use funds for bonus pay or special awards pay, a District agency, department, unit, or instrumentality shall establish a Performance Based Rewards Program ("Program") that is approved by the personnel authority for the relevant agency, department, unit, or instrumentality.

(b) A Program established pursuant to this subchapter shall include detailed regulations for the payment of bonus pay or special awards pay to employees that, at a minimum:

(1) Limit the authorization period for bonus pay and special awards pay to the fourth quarter of the fiscal year;

(2) Limit the issuance of bonus pay or special awards pay to a one-time basis, without any promise or suggestion of continuing payments;

(3) Limit the issuance of bonus pay or special awards pay to employees on an individual basis, and not to a group or class of employees unless each of the employees in the group or class individually warrants such payment;

(4) Require any issuance of bonus pay or special awards pay to be based on performance, with the employee having exceeded the expectations of the supervisor or employer;

(5) Require that an employee have had a performance evaluation, in writing, no earlier than 90 days before the issuance of a bonus pay or special awards pay;

(6) Require written justification for the bonus pay or special awards pay by the employee's immediate supervisor or the head of the agency, department, unit, or instrumentality;

(7) Cap the amount of bonus pay or special awards pay that can be received at 10% of the employee's base rate of pay or, for an employee paid at an hourly rate, an amount not to exceed 10% of the employee's wages for the 12 months preceding the award; and

(8) Limit the availability of any bonus pay or special awards pay to one payment per calendar year and prohibit an employee from receiving bonus pay and special awards pay within the same calendar year.

(c) Any Program for an Executive branch agency, department, unit, or instrumentality, including an independent agency, shall be approved by the District of Columbia Human Resources Department before its implementation.

(d) This section shall not apply to the Council, the Office of the District of Columbia Auditor, and the Office of Advisory Neighborhood Commissions.


(Oct. 8, 2016, D.C. Law 21-160, § 1003, 63 DCR 10775; Dec. 13, 2017, D.C. Law 22-33, § 1072(b), 64 DCR 7652.)

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 1072(b) of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-167, Oct. 24, 2017, 64 DCR 10802).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 1072(b) of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-104, July 20, 2017, 64 DCR 7032).


§ 1–551.04. Bonus pay and special awards pay; reporting requirements.

In addition to any other requirements under this subchapter, any payment of bonus pay or special awards pay made pursuant to § 1-551.02(b) shall be followed, within 60 days of the payment, by notification in writing to the relevant personnel authority of the issuance of the payment and a description of the basis for the payment that includes the employee's name, title, and salary, the payment amount, and a detailed justification for the payment.


(Oct. 8, 2016, D.C. Law 21-160, § 1004, 63 DCR 10775.)


§ 1–551.05. Bonus pay and special awards pay; subordinate agency heads ineligible.

Any authorization under this subchapter for the use of funds to support the categories of bonus pay or special awards pay shall not extend to a payment to a subordinate agency head in the Executive Service established by subchapter X-A of Chapter 6 of this title.


(Oct. 8, 2016, D.C. Law 21-160, § 1005, 63 DCR 10775.)


§ 1–551.06. Bonus pay and special awards pay; exceptions to prohibition.

(a) Notwithstanding the prohibition in § 1-551.02(a), funds may be used to pay:

(1) Retirement awards;

(2) Hiring bonuses for difficult-to-fill positions;

(3) Additional income allowances for difficult-to-fill positions; provided, that this is not a waiver of § 1-551.05;

(4) Agency awards or bonuses funded by private grants or donations;

(5) Employee awards pursuant to § 1-619.01;

(6) Safe-driving awards;

(7) Gainsharing incentives in the Department of Public Works;

(8) Suggestion or invention awards;

(9) Quality steps;

(10) Salary incentives negotiated through collective bargaining; or

(11) Any other award or bonus required by an existing contract or collective bargaining agreement that was entered into before October 8, 2016.

(b) Notwithstanding the prohibition in § 1-551.02(a) or any other provision of law, no restrictions on the use of funds to support the categories of special awards pay (comptroller subcategory 0137) or bonus pay (comptroller subcategory 0138) shall apply to employees of the District of Columbia Public Schools who are based at a local school or who provide services directly to individual students.

(c) Notwithstanding the prohibition in § 1-551.02(a) or any other provision of law, the Office of the Attorney General shall pay employees of the Office of the Attorney General all performance allowance payments to which they are entitled or may become entitled under any approved compensation agreement negotiated between and executed by the Mayor and Compensation Unit 33 of the American Federation of Government Employees, Local 1403, AFL-CIO for the period from October 1, 2013, through September 30, 2017. These payments are necessary to satisfy the requirements of § 1-608.57, which requires the Attorney General's performance-management system to link pay to performance.


(Oct. 8, 2016, D.C. Law 21-160, § 1006, 63 DCR 10775.)