D.C. Pay Transparency Laws Proposed

By Kris Janisch
Published Aug. 9, 2023

D.C. Pay Transparency Laws

Employers with locations in D.C. should keep an eye out for the potential passage of a new pay transparency law. In a progressive area like Washington, D.C., these laws are more likely to go into effect.

D.C. pay transparency laws have been proposed, continuing a wave of such legislation across the country.

One piece of legislation would, if enacted, add Washington, D.C., to the list of jurisdictions requiring salary ranges to be included in job postings.

A second ordinance would restrict the use of an applicant’s salary history in pay.

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D.C. Pay Transparency Laws

To begin, the DC pay transparency ordinances could be bundled together into a single law at some point.

Still, starting with a proposal for pay scale disclosures, one bill would prohibit employers from posting a job advertisement without including the minimum and maximum salary or hourly pay information.

An employer may not advertise a job, promotion, or transfer opportunity without posting the minimum and maximum salary or hourly pay range for the position in the advertisement. In stating the minimum and maximum salary or hourly pay for the position, the range may extend from the lowest to the highest salary the employer in good faith believes at the time of the posting it would pay for the advertised job, promotion, or transfer opportunity.

Pay Transparency Laws

The proposal would apply to private employers with at least 25 employees in the district and not apply to D.C. itself or the federal government.

Again, however, the final iteration of the legislation is not set as of this writing and council members will have to iron out other details, such as whether it would apply to D.C. employers whose workers are performing jobs outside of the district.

Next, a proposed ordinance would bar employers from screening potential employees based on their wage history or seeking the wage history of a job applicant, unless:

  • The employer has made a job offer, with compensation details, to the prospective employee and seeks the information for the “sole purpose of confirming information about the prospective employee’s wage history”
  • The applicant has provided written authorization for the employer to receive the information

This bill would include a labor law poster requirement.

Lastly, it is worth noting the D.C. Council is on recess and will return Sept. 15, 2023. It will be interesting for employers operating in the nation’s capital to see how the pay transparency proposals progress.

How to Prepare for Midyear Legislative Updates

Pay Transparency Laws

Pay transparency laws have been growing in recent years.

While they take many forms, the latest trend is requiring employers to include salary ranges in job postings, as is the case with the proposal in D.C.

Below are the jurisdictions that require pay ranges in job postings. The obligations for employers vary a bit with each law, so organizations with locations in these cities and states should check the statutes to ensure compliance.

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Hawaii (effective Jan. 1, 2024)
  • Illinois (effective Jan. 1, 2025)
  • Ithaca, N.Y.
  • Jersey City, N.Y.
  • New York City
  • New York State (effective Sept. 17, 2023)
  • Westchester County, N.Y.
  • Washington State

Of course, there are other types of pay transparency laws. Depending on the jurisdiction, these laws may require employers to:

  • Provide applicants with the salary range for a posted position at a specified point during the hiring process
  • Provide employees with the salary range upon request, when changing jobs or upon hire

As might be expected, there are differences among the laws and the requirements for employers. In Nevada, for example, its pay transparency law says employers must disclose the salary range to applicants who have completed an interview for the position. Also, salary range information must be given to employees for a promotion or transfer if the employee has applied, completed an interview or has been offered the position (and if requested).

Pay transparency is becoming another major employment law issue for large organizations in the U.S.

Pay Transparency Laws by State

Conclusion – D.C. Pay Transparency Laws

Employers with locations in D.C. should keep an eye out for the potential passage of a new pay transparency law. In a progressive area like Washington, D.C., these laws are more likely to go into effect.

Lastly, it is worth noting that all laws the district passes go to Congress for a 30-day review (or 60 days for laws relating to crime).

This Employment Law News blog is intended for market awareness only, it is not to be used for legal advice or counsel.

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