Attorneys at Our Firm

DC Wage Payment and Collection Law

In addition to federal laws such as the FLSA, the Washington, D.C. government provides several protections for workers in D.C. regarding their rights to collect their wages and The Erlich Law Office can help you collect those unpaid funds. These safeguards can be found in the D.C. Wage Payment and Collection Law, which requires employers to pay wages within certain time limits and sets out remedies for violations.


The D.C. Wage Payment and Collection Law covers all employers employing any person within the District of Columbia. It defines an employer broadly and includes individuals as employers. This means that in some cases, individual officers or company owners may be liable for violations as employers even though the corporation that the person represents is also at fault.

The law defines employee to include “any person suffered or permitted to work by an employer except any person employed in a bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity.”

The act’s definition of wages was expanded by the Wage Theft Prevention Amendment Act of 2013. Wages now means all monetary compensation owed after lawful deductions, whether the amount owed is determined on a time, task, piece, commission, or other basis of calculation. The law’s definition of wage explicitly includes bonus pay, commission, fringe benefits paid in cash, overtime premiums, and other compensation promised or owed under contract or D.C./federal law.


The following kinds of workers are exempted from the Wage Payment and Collection law:

  • U.S. government or agency workers;
  • D.C. government or gency workers;
  • Workers subject to the Railway Labor Act; and
  • Bona fide executive, administrative, or professional workers as defined by D.C. regulations.
The Rules
  • Employers must pay covered workers at least twice a month, on regular paydays designated in advance by the employer.
  • Wages must be paid with “lawful money of the United States, or checks on banks payable on demand.”
  • Wages must be paid within 10 working days of the close of the pay period, except: (1) when a different period is specified in a collective bargaining agreement between an employer and labor organization; or (2) when the employer, by contract or custom, paid wages at least once each calendar month prior to the law’s passage in 1956 and continued to do so since that time.
  • Every time wages are paid, employers must give their workers itemized statements of hours worked, gross and net pay, with the portion of wages from overtime hours or commission and deductions or additions to pay clearly specified.
  • If a worker is fired, wages must be paid the next working day after the termination, except when the worker “is responsible for monies belonging to the employer.”
  • Covered workers are entitled to accumulated vacation pay when they leave employment unless there is an agreement to the contrary.
  • Finally, if there is a bona fide dispute as to the amount of wages due, the employer must give written notice to the worker of the amount of wages that are agreed upon.

If you work in the District of Columbia and your employer is in violation of one or more provisions of the D.C. Wage Payment and Collection Act, the Erlich Law Office can help. Victims of D.C.’s wage payment and collection laws can recover not only wages due but also liquidated damages in the amount of 10 percent of the unpaid wages per working day after the day that wagers were due or an amount equal to three times the amount of unpaid damages, whichever is smaller.

Contact us at (703) 791-9087 or visit our website at for a consultation.