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The District of Columbia’s Wage Theft Prevention Amendment Act of 2014 (the “Act”) became effective February 26, 2015. The Act makes broad changes to DC’s wage and hour laws, which include the Minimum Wage Act Revision Act, the Living Wage Act, the Wage Payment and Wage Collection Law, and the Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act.
The purpose of the Act is to enhance remedies, fines, administrative penalties, and enforcement of wage payment and collection laws by increasing the accountability of employers and strengthening worker protection laws. Specifically, the Act increases penalties for employers who commit wage-hour violations; provides anti-retaliation protections for workers who hold employers accountable for failing to pay wages owed; establishes a formal hearing process with enforceable judgments; and provides for better access to legal representation for victims of wage payment violations, while making it easier for workers to collect awards from businesses who fail to pay, either in whole or in part, an employee’s regular wages.
The Office of Wage-Hour (OWH) will conduct a comprehensive public education campaign for employers and employees in the coming weeks that includes webinars, conference calls, and information sessions. Click here to view a tentative calendar of events for the upcoming information sessions.
Effective January 1, 2015, the 2015 Living Wage for contractors of the District of Columbia Government will be $13.80. For detailed information regarding the 2015 Living Wage for the District of Columbia, please read the updated Living Wage Act of 2006 Fact Sheet. The Living Wage Act of 2006 Poster has been updated to reflect the 2015 Living Wage.
Beginning July 1, 2014, the minimum wage in the District of Columbia will increase from $8.25 per hour to $9.50 per hour for all workers, regardless of size of employer. The Minimum Wage Amendment Act of 2013 was signed into law on January 15, 2014 after unanimous passage by the D.C. Council. The law also includes provisions to further increase the minimum wage in subsequent years. For more information, please read the DC Minimum Wage Increase Public Notice.
For general information on frequently asked questions regarding various Office of Wage-Hour facts, laws, and requirements of this office according to District of Columbia laws and statutes, please read the Office of Wage-Hour FAQs.
The Office of Wage-Hour conducts compliance audits. The office may recover back wages for employees who have not been paid pursuant to these laws, either administratively or through court action.
The “Living Wage Act of 2006,” Title I of D.C. Law 16-18, (D.C. Official Code §§2-220.01-.11) became effective June 9, 2006. It provides that District of Columbia government contractors and recipients of government assistance (grants, loans, tax increment financing) in the amount of $100,000 or more shall pay affiliated employees wages no less than the current living wage rate. The current living wage rate is $13.60 per hour.
You may complete the online wage claim form for unpaid wages if:
If you worked in Maryland, you must contact the Maryland Department of Labor and Industry at (410) 767-2357.
If you worked in Virginia, you must contact the Virginia Department of Labor at (804) 371-2327.
If you were a part of management, contact the Office of Wage-Hour at (202) 671-1880.
If you are filling a claim for unpaid overtime, contact the Office of Wage-Hour at (202) 671-1880, and your complaint will be taken over the phone.
If you were an independent contractor, please file your claim directly in Small Claims Court.
A Compliance Specialist can take minimum wage and overtime/living wage claims over the phone or the employee may visit the office. Claims filed pursuant to the Wage Payment and Wage Collection Law and the Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act are required to be in writing and accompanied by a notarized form assigning the claim to the Office of Wage-Hour. These forms can be mailed to you upon request or you may file your claim in person at the Office of Wage-Hour.
For more information, contact the following:
DC Department of Employment Services
Labor Standards Bureau
Office of Wage-Hour
4058 Minnesota Avenue, NE, Fourth Floor
Washington, DC 20019
Phone: (202) 671-1880
Fax: (202) 673-6411
Hours of Operation: Monday- Friday, 8:30 am-5 pm