The First Source law was first enacted in January, 1984. The purpose of the law was to get D.C. residents hired on projects receiving some form of government assistance in excess of $100,000. The law stated that 51% of new hires must be D.C. residents. It also requires that 35% of all apprenticeship hours on the project be performed by District residents.
As of February, 2012, the law was amended to require additional provisions involving the hiring of District residents:
1. At least 20% of all journey worker hours by trade shall be performed by District residents.
2. At least 60% of all apprentice hours by trade shall be performed by District residents.
3. At least 51% of all skilled labor hours by trade must be performed by District residents.
4. At least 70% of all common laborer hours must be performed by District residents.
The lack of skilled DC residents in the construction trades has made it difficult for construction companies to comply with the original First Source law. The 2012 amendments have made it virtually impossible for companies to comply. Because of the burden this places on the ABC membership and the construction industry, ABC of Metro Washington filed suit against the District of Columbia in 2012 questioning the legality of restricting employment based on residency. The suit is still pending.