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Workers with Masks


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The District’s workforce – particularly from our most vulnerable and underserved communities – deserves to be treated with dignity and receive a fair wage that is guaranteed by law. Throughout his legislative career, Kenyan has been an advocate for worker’s rights and championed many key labor issues, including increasing the minimum wage, creating more transparency in the workforce and establishing training programs for our most underserved communities. A key policy matter for Kenyan while at the Council was combating wage theft. Kenyan has also consistently promoted laws and policies that enhance quality job opportunities for DC residents. As an At-Large Councilmember, Kenyan will continue to strengthen DC workers’ rights, advocate for greater opportunities for our most underserved populations and hold employers accountable for taking advantage of our workforce through wage theft and the creation of unsafe work environments.

Creating More Pay Transparency:

Today, women earn 84 cents on the dollar compared to men for doing the same job. Unfortunately, wage disparities often go undetected and exacerbate inequality in the workplace because of strict policies implemented by employers that not only forbid, but also punish those who discuss the topic freely. That is why one of the best tools to address wage disparity is protecting the freedom of workers to discuss their pay. Kenyan authored and passed legislation to protect workers who discuss their compensation with their peers from retaliation by their employers. As an At-Large Councilmember, Kenyan will continue to champion policies that create more transparency and a level the playing field for workers. 

Combating Worker Misclassification and Wage Theft:

Worker misclassification and wage theft have long been concerns that Kenyan has actively sought to address as a lawmaker. One of the first bills Kenyan advanced created a presumption that construction workers are employees, not independent contractors. The bill also created a private right of action for employees who were misclassified by their employers and deprived of certain workers’ rights under the law. Building on those protections, Kenyan similarly co-sponsored a law that creates penalties for employers who fail to pay earned wages and establishes additional protections for workers, including prohibiting retribution by an employer against employees who file a complaint. As an At-Large Councilmember, Kenyan will continue to prioritize protecting workers from wage theft and misclassification by holding bad actors accountable and defending workers’ rights. 

Protecting Excluded Workers:

 Every person has a right to be respected, treated with dignity and compensated fairly for their work. Low-wage immigrant workers, especially those that are undocumented, are some of the most vulnerable contributors to the District’s economy. As a result, certain employers will exploit their immigration status and conceal resources available to them. As the COVID-19 pandemic raged on and ravaged the nation’s workers, many undocumented workers found themselves disproportionately excluded from the available relief programs. That is why Kenyan advocated for and successfully secured millions of additional funding for excluded workers faced with economic hardships due to the pandemic. As an At-Large Councilmember, Kenyan will build on his legislative record of securing vital resources to excluded workers and push for even greater protections. He will remain laser-focused on ensuring employees are observing the laws for sick and safe leave, wage and overtime pay in a non-discriminatory matter.

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