Code of the District of Columbia

§ 1–515.06a. Study of District government employee residency.

*NOTE: This section was created by emergency legislation that will expire on November 21, 2021.*

(a)(1) DCHR shall conduct a study on District government employee and applicant residency and residency-related policies ("study"), which it shall submit to the Council no later than October 1, 2022. The study shall utilize the results of each of the components described in subsection (b) of this section to provide a comprehensive analysis on the District government workforce as a whole and of sworn police officers, firefighters, and other groups regarding:

(A) Current patterns related to District government employees' jurisdictions of residence;

(B) Barriers to higher rates of District residency;

(C) Reasons for District residency;

(D) Effectiveness of current residency-related policies; and

(E) Factors or policies that, if changed, could increase the rates of District residency for District government employees.

(2) DCHR shall provide the Council Committee on Labor and Workforce Development a status update on the research, in writing, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, 10 months, and 12 months following October 1, 2021.

(b) The study shall consist of the following components:

(1) Results from a data analysis of the jurisdiction of residence of District government employees and applicants, consistent with the requirements of subsection (c) of this section;

(2) Results of an anonymous survey or confidential focus groups, or both, of District government employees and former employees related to their opinions and experiences regarding their jurisdictions of residence, consistent with the requirements of subsection (d) of this section; and

(3) Results of a review and analysis of District government agencies' hiring practices and outcomes through data analysis and interviews or surveys, or both, of agency hiring directors, consistent with the requirements of subsection (e) of this section.

(c)(1) The study's data analysis component shall collect and analyze data, to the extent it is available, for the purpose of documenting for the District government workforce:

(A) Patterns, including correlations, between District government employees' current jurisdictions of residence and employees':

(i) Employment information;

(ii) Demographics;

(iii) Median housing costs, including monthly rent and home sale price, in common jurisdictions of residence; and

(iv) Applicable residency-related policies;

(B) Patterns, including rates of application and of hire, of District government job applicants, by jurisdiction of residence and then by agency, salary level, employment service and grade, occupation, and occupational group; and for District resident applicants, the analysis also shall include a review of total workforce and agency-level patterns and rates at which applicants:

(i) Were qualified for the applied-for jobs based on the 100-point scale;

(ii) Sought and received District residency preference points;

(iii) Received an interview;

(iv) Received job offers; and

(v) Accepted job offers; and

(C) Patterns related to District government employees moving into the District, maintaining residency in the District, or moving out of the District, and factors or circumstances that include the following:

(i) Employees' jurisdictions of residence immediately before commencing work with the District government;

(ii) Residency-related policies, including the end of the 7-year period of required residency for employees who received a hiring preference pursuant to section 102;

(iii) The length of time employees resided in the District before commencing employment with the District government;

(iv) Employment information; and

(v) Demographics and changes in demographics.

(2) Upon completion of the research and analysis conducted pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection, DCHR shall issue and submit to the Council a report documenting the findings of the data analysis for:

(A) The District's workforce as a whole;

(B) Subordinate agency employees;

(C) Independent agency employees;

(D) Employees in jobs that require District residency;

(E) Employees in jobs that do not require District residency;

(F) Sworn police officers;

(G) Firefighters;

(H) Employees who received residency preference points;

(I) Employees with long tenures with the District government;

(J) Employees with short tenures with the District government; and

(K) Other groups and subgroups that produce findings of interest, relevance, or import, including disaggregation by demographics, employment information, occupation, and other factors, when such disaggregation demonstrates observable patterns of interest or importance.

(d)(1) The study's anonymous survey or confidential focus groups component shall:

(A) Be conducted after issuance of the report required pursuant to subsection (c)(2) of this section and be informed by its findings;

(B) Include a sample size that is large and diverse enough for disaggregation into the groups of employees listed in subsection (c)(2) of this section.

(C) Capture demographic information as well as information on actual housing costs of survey participants;

(D) Capture data not available through the data analysis conducted pursuant to subsection (c)(1)(A) and (C) of this section;

(E) Include questions, and allow open-ended responses, related to:

(i) Why District government employees choose to live in the District or not to live in the District;

(ii) The decision-making considerations of employees as to their jurisdiction of residence, with a particular focus on housing costs, educational options, and other significant or common factors;

(iii) For public safety jobs, including sworn police officers and firefighters, the unique factors of their jobs and how those factors impact their decisions related to jurisdiction of residence;

(iv) How District resident employees are able to afford to live in the District; and

(v) Other questions aimed at collecting the information required in paragraph (3)(A) of this subsection or of interest, relevance, or importance to the study.

(2) DCHR may utilize up to $10,000 to incentivize survey participation.

(3) Upon completion of the survey or focus groups and analysis conducted pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection, DCHR shall issue and submit to the Council a report with findings from the survey and confidential focus groups, which shall:

(A) Include findings on:

(i) The circumstances under which and reasons why District residents hired into District government positions move out of the District;

(ii) The circumstances under which and reasons why new District government hires who are not District residents move into the District or do not move into the District;

(iii) Factors that would influence a non-District resident to voluntarily live in the District or allow the individual to live in the District if the employee's job required District residency, including salary thresholds above which District employees who are not District residents would be willing or able to become District residents; and

(iv) Factors that would influence a District resident to remain a District resident in the long term;

(B) Disaggregate results by demographics, salary level, the employee groups listed in subsection (c)(2) of this section, and other factors;

(C) Provide average and median actual housing costs of survey or focus group participants, in sum and disaggregated by demographics, salary level, and other factors and;

(D) Withhold or combine data to the extent failure to do so would otherwise disclose a participant's identity.

(e)(1) The study component related to a review and analysis of agencies' hiring practices and outcomes shall utilize data gathered pursuant to subsection (c)(1)(B) of this section, related to District government employee applicants, and interviews with or surveys of agency hiring directors to inform the component, and shall include:

(A) A review of:

(i) District government agencies' actual recruitment, hiring, retention, and promotion practices;

(ii) Whether and to what extent such practices focus on hiring District residents;

(iii) Success or lack of success of such practices at hiring District residents;

(iv) How to improve practices to increase hiring of District residents; and

(v) The main challenges, as supported by data or reported by hiring directors, in hiring District residents and recruiting to positions that require District residency;

(B)(i) Identification of specific occupations or occupational groups and patterns or correlations related to occupations or occupational groups for which District residents represent less than 40% of new hires;

(ii) Each occupation's or occupational group's starting salary; and

(iii) Specific credentials necessary for each occupation or occupational group; and

(C) For agencies that consistently have an annual rate of new hires that is less than 40% District residents, data analysis of, and agency hiring directors' perspective on, the reasons for such rates, such as inadequate recruitment, bona fide hard-to-fill positions, lack of qualified District-resident applicants, lack of positions that require residency, or other legitimate reasons.

(2) Upon completion of the research conducted pursuant to paragraph (1) of this subsection, DCHR shall issue and submit to the Council a report with findings of the review of hiring practices conducted pursuant to this subsection.

(f)(1) To perform the study and complete the reports required pursuant to this section, including to prepare the reports required in subsections (a), (c)(2), (d)(3), and (e)(2) of this section, DCHR may contract with or otherwise hire an outside entity with relevant expertise in conducting related research and using research methodologies required to produce the study.

(2) DCHR may use electronic communication tools, including e-mail, to facilitate a contractor or other external entity's outreach to District government employees.

(3) DCHR shall:

(A) Provide a contractor or hired entity, should one be procured or hired, with the information and data necessary to facilitate completion of the study components outlined in subsection (b) of this section and shall assist the contractor or hired entity in obtaining data from other agencies, including the Office of the Chief Financial Officer ("OCFO") Office of Tax and Revenue.

(B) Provide all raw data, survey questions, survey results, and all research components and other materials prepared by a contractor or hired entity for the research required by the study, but excluding individual-level data, to the Council upon request.

(g) In complying with the provisions of this section, DCHR shall take steps to ensure the privacy and confidentiality of current and former District government employees. DCHR may not release to the public or to the Council any findings or data that contain personally identifying information.

(h)(1) OCFO shall provide all information requested by DCHR or DCHR's hired entity for the purposes of the research described in this subtitle unless sharing such information would violate District or federal laws. DCHR shall enter a data-sharing agreement with OCFO if necessary.

(2) Independent agencies shall provide all information requested by DCHR for the purposes of the research described in this subtitle. DCHR shall enter a data-sharing agreement with the agencies if necessary.