Discrimination and Retaliation Protections for the Unemployed: Employers in the District of Columbia must comply with a number of local laws regarding employees. These range from the D.C. Human Rights Act, which largely mirrors Title VII and similar federal laws, but specifically covers sexual orientation and political affiliation; to the D.C. Paid Sick Leave Act (DC Code § 32-131.02), requiring paid sick leave for employees based on the employer’s size; and the D.C. Family and Medical Leave Act (D.C. Code § 32-509), providing up to 16 weeks of unpaid leave in a 24-month period. D.C.’s latest enactment is the Unemployed Anti Discrimination Act of 2012. The Act provides that employers may not exclude candidates because they are unemployed and may not retaliate against anyone who exercises their rights under the Act. Although the Act has an exemption that permits employers to examine the reasons underlying an individual’s status as unemployed, it is a fine line between rejecting someone because they are unemployed and rejecting them because of the reasons underlying the unemployment. Although the Act does not create a private cause of action, it does establish civil penalties of $1,000 per violation per claimant, $5,000 for a second violation, and $10,000 for each subsequent violation, not to exceed $20,000 per violation.