|Effective Date:||Expiration Date:||Chapters:|
|April 18, 2016||When Superseded||20|
The District government recognizes the benefits to both agencies and employees of workplace wellness programs that promote and support employees’ health and wellness. District employees benefit from wellness programs on and off the job. Through wellness programs we can reduce risks associated with serious health conditions; work with employees to manage stress and job burn-out; reduce absenteeism and on-the-job injuries; and address chemical dependency and abuse issues. In addition to these benefits for employees, positive benefits are likely to extend to the families of employees resulting in better health for our communities. This instruction provides general information on establishing an agency-level wellness program.
Each agency head has the responsibility to create a Workplace Wellness Program (Program) within his or her agency. Such programs will be developed in partnership with the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Human Resources (DCHR). At a minimum, agency Programs must address the primary components of a healthy lifestyle including: healthy eating, physical activity, tobacco cessation, and stress management. DCHR has developed a Workplace Wellness model to assist agencies in the establishment of their programs.
DCHR in collaboration with DOH will provide guidance and assistance to agencies in the development of a comprehensive Program for employees. DCHR will also provide workplace wellness materials to agencies to assist in the development of their Program. In addition, and when available, resources will be provided on DCHR’s District Employee Wellness webpage at http://dchr.dc.gov.
A Workplace Wellness Program shall include the following components:
Each agency head shall designate a Wellness Leader at the management level of the agency, who has direct access to the agency head. In collaboration with management and employees, the Wellness Leader is responsible for creating a workplace wellness infrastructure; overseeing the development and implementation of employee wellness policies and committees; communicating to employees about the agency’s wellness program components to encourage and increase participation; and providing on-going assessment and monitoring of program effectiveness.
Each agency shall establish a wellness committee comprised of employees who represent a cross section of the agency’s population. Wellness committees should meet on a routine and formal basis to develop and implement wellness strategies to encourage healthy behaviors and a health-friendly work environment. The committees should also advocate for necessary policy changes to effectuate these goals. Multiple committees may be necessary depending on the size and number of locations of the agency.
Committees should elect a wellness chair or co-chair(s) to conduct meetings and lead activities. Committee members may need as much as four (4) hours a month and the wellness chair(s) as much as six (6) hours a month to plan and implement the agency’s strategic wellness plan. As appropriate, these activities should be included in an employee’s performance plan.
Each agency must submit the name of their Wellness LeaderDCHR’s Associate Director for Benefits and Retirement Services.
District government policy allows health service providers to provide programs; such as, a weight management program or offer other voluntary wellness programs to employees at the worksite with the appropriate permissions from the agency head and the DGS during nonwork hours, during lunch hours, or before or after the official work day.
|Ways to Increase Levels of Physical Activity in the Workplace|
Designation of space for wellness activities; including, exercise, in District government-owned and leased office space is permissible and encouraged.
Providing opportunities for employees to exercise at their desks and offices.
|Employee Fitness Discounts||As of January 1, 2016, employees who are District residents are able to obtain DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) fitness center memberships free of charge; nonresident District employees, may obtain memberships at a reduced rate. For more information, please visit DPR’s website at http://dpr.dc.gov/page/dpr-fitness-centers.|
|Ways to Increase Levels of Physical Activity in the Workplace|
|Fitness Education||In partnership with wellness-related vendors, DCHR will provide various opportunities throughout the year for agencies and employees to participate in fitness and other related educational opportunities; including, seminars, classes, events, etc.|
|Wellness-related Vendors||Can provide a weight management program or offer other wellness programs to employees at the worksite.|
Agencies are encouraged to make available healthy snacks or foods at meetings (when snacks or foods may be legally provided), catered events, and vending machines. For example, provide at least 15 to 20 percent healthier snacks in vending machines and offer options that meet healthy dining and snacking criteria. Clear identification of healthy snacks is strongly encouraged.
Agencies should ensure that food preparation and storage (e.g. sinks, refrigerators, microwaves) areas are available to encourage and support employees in bringing healthy lunches and snacks to work.
Agencies should promote the availability and consumption of water throughout the day.
In partnership with wellness-related vendors, DCHR will provide various opportunities throughout the year for agencies and employees to participate in nutrition and other related educational opportunities, including seminars, classes, events, etc.
Agency workplace wellness programs shall also include guidance on creating space for nursing mothers in District government buildings, please review the Office of Human Rights’ Breastfeeding Guidelines at http://www.dcregs.dc.gov/Gateway/FinalAdoptionHome.aspx?RuleVersionID=2920202.
Agencies should provide training on how to reduce, prevent, and cope with stress in the workplace annually to managers and supervisors to improve their supervisory skills, and reduce conflict and stress in the workplace. This training should also be offered to employees who want to improve their time management and stress reduction skills.
Agencies should ensure that employees are taking their required lunch and rest periods for appropriate breaks from repetitive and stressful work functions during the work day to help prevent stress and injury.
In accordance with the District law, all District-owned building and property (i.e. vehicles) and buildings leased by the District government are tobacco-free properties.
Tobacco Cessation Programs are available through the DC Quitine, the Employee Assistance Program, and DC Employee Health Plan providers, as follows:
Agency Wellness Committees will be responsible for the submission of the following surveys to the DCHR Wellness Coordinator:
By June 30, 2016, each agency must complete this survey that will provide baseline information on the wellness offerings at worksites District-wide and their ability to incorporate additional wellness elements. Beginning in 2017, this survey will need to be completed by September 30th of each year.
By January 21, 2017, each agency must complete this survey that will gauge agency success and challenges in worksite wellness program implementation and allow for increased support for agency wellness committees; as well as, critical feedback to determine best practices and identify problems.
Beginning September 30, 2017, each agency must complete annually this survey which will allow DCHR to compare agency baseline data from the initial Workplace Wellness Survey with program improvements after one (1) year of implementation.
Agencies must be able to obtain an American Heart Association (AHA) “Fit-Friendly” Workplace designation within two (2) years of the implementation of the workplace wellness program. Each agency wellness committees should submit a plan to DCHR by September 30, 2016 on how they will implement solutions to meet AHA criteria.
The provisions of this instruction apply to those District government agencies which are subordinate to the Mayor’s personnel authority. Other personnel authorities or independent agencies may adopt any or all of these procedures to provide guidance to employees under their respective jurisdictions.
For additional information concerning this bulletin, please contact the Department of Human Resources, Benefits and Retirement Services, by calling (202) 442-9700 or by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.