DC Minimum Wage, Living Wage, and Overtime Laws
There are important laws employers are required to follow regarding employees’ compensation. Unfortunately, employers sometimes violate these laws, leaving their employees feeling helpless. The following is a list of some of the most important wage and hour laws in the District of Columbia that you need to know about.Minimum Wage
The minimum wage is the lowest amount an employer can pay a worker per hour, with some exceptions. Under the Minimum Wage Revision Act (“MWRA”), all private employers in the District of Columbia are required to pay their employees at least the minimum wage.
The minimum wage in the District as of July 1, 2018 is $13.25. The minimum wage will increase to $14.00 per hour on July 1, 2019 and again to $15.00 per hour on July 1, 2020.
The base minimum wage for tipped restaurant workers in the District of Columbia as of July 1, 2018 is $3.89 per hour; however, if an employee’s hourly tip earnings (averaged weekly) do not equal to the D.C. full minimum wage, the employer must pay the difference. The base minimum wage for tipped restaurant workers will increase to $4.45 per hour on July 1, 2019.
In the District of Columbia, there is also a minimum daily wage, which means that a D.C. wage earner must be paid for at least four hours on each day that he or she reports to work unless the employee is regularly scheduled to work less than four hours. This generally applies where an employee reports to work as instructed, but is given either no work, or less than four hours of work to complete by their employer.Overtime Wages
Under the MWRA, nonexempt employee in the District of Columbia is entitled to at least 1.5 times his or her regular rate for all hours worked over forty (40) in any week. All private employers in the District are required to pay such overtime wages to their employees.Living Wage
The D.C. Living Wage Act (“LWA”) requires certain D.C. government contractors to pay their workers a living wage. “Living wage” is a term used to refer to the minimum amount of money people in a particular locality are thought to need in order to be able to cover their basic needs. As of January 1, 2016, the living wage is $13.85 per hour.
The LWA protects employees who work for an employer that either receives compensation directly from government assistance or has a contract with the D.C. government. Employers that receive at least $100,000.00 in government assistance or from a government contract, as well as their subcontractors that receive at least $50,000.00 in government assistance or from a government contract, are subject to the requirements of the Act.Recordkeeping
D.C. employers must give each employee an itemized statement when wages are paid, showing: (1) the wage payment date; (2) the gross wages paid, with regular and overtime earnings shown separately; (3) itemized deductions and/or additions to pay; (4) net wages paid; (5) the pay rate; and (6) the precise time worked each day (not simply hours worked).
Employees who are paid by commission must be provided an itemized statement showing the commissions earned as well as any non-commission earnings.Remedies
An employer that violates the D.C. minimum wage provisions may be required to pay an employee the full amount of unpaid wages, as well as liquidated damages in an amount up to three times the unpaid wage amount.
An employee who is not paid overtime pursuant to D.C.’s overtime provisions may be entitled to the unpaid overtime amount, as well as liquidated damages in an amount up to three times the unpaid overtime wages amount.
An employee who works for an employer covered by the Living Wage Act may be entitled to unpaid wages if their employer fails to pay the living wage required by the Act.
In addition, all plaintiffs who prevail in wage payment and collection cases under D.C. law are entitled to attorneys’ fees and costs. A three year statute of limitations applies to wage claims arising under the MWRA and the LWA.
If you work in the District of Columbia and believe your rights under the District’s wage and hour laws have been violated, you may contact us at (703) 791-9087 or visit our website at www.erlichlawoffice.com for a consultation.