Effective February 26, 2015, D.C. is tightening the reins on wage and hour violations – and giving workers an easier path to file complaints.[wc_divider style=”dotted” line=”single” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=””]
D.C. employers: now’s a good time to make sure your operations in the District are recording employee wage and hour information correctly and paying the right amount based on accurate employee classifications.
The Wage Theft Prevention Amendment Act of 2014 (WTPAA) amended 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. According to the DC Department of Employment Services (DOES), the purpose of the WTPAA is to:
“…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.”
D.C. Wage Theft Enforcement and Violations
D.C. isn’t kidding around with the passage of WTPAA in September 2014. Just a sample of the changes in the amendment include:
- All Employers: Employers who fail to comply can be fined $1,000 for the first offense and then ranging upwards to $5,000, 90 days in jail, and triple the wages owed to affected employees.
- Contractors/Subcontractors: A Subcontractor and the general contractor shall be jointly and severally liable to the subcontractor’s employees for violations of this act, the Living Wage Act, and the Sick and Safe Leave Act.
- Temporary Staffing Firms: When a temporary staffing firm employs an employee who performs work on behalf of or to the benefit of another employer pursuant to a temporary staffing arrangement or contract for services, both the temporary staffing firm and the employer shall be jointly and severally liable for violations of this act, the Living Wage Act, and the Sick and Safe Leave Act to the employee and to the District.
D.C. Wage Theft Prevention Notice Requirements
D.C. employers must: provide required WTPAA information to new employees; provide all current employees with the required information by May 27, 2015; and retain copies of the written notice furnished to employees that are signed and dated by the employer and by the employee acknowledging receipt of the notice.
The notice to employees must include the following information:
- Telephone number of the employer
- Physical address of the employer’s main office or principal place of business, and a mailing address if different
- Name employer and business name
- Employee’s rate of pay and the basis of that rate, including:
- Rate by the hour, shift, day, or week (whichever is applicable)
- Salary, Piece Rate, or commission (whichever is applicable)
- Any allowances claimed as part of the minimum wage, including tip, meal, or lodging allowances
- Overtime rate of pay or exemptions from overtime pay
- Living wage or exemptions from the living wage
- Any applicable prevailing wages
- Regular pay day designated by the employer
D.C. Wage Theft Prevention Workplace Posting
The GovDocs Research Department confirmed with the D.C. DOES that employers must display the notice with other required postings. The WTPAA and other postings required for D.C. businesses are included in the GovDocs D.C. Posting Compliance Package and include:
- Wage Theft Prevention Act
- Workers’ Compensation
- Minimum Wage
- Human Rights Law (Equal Employment Opportunity)
- Public Accommodations
- Unemployment Insurance
- Child Labor Law
- No Smoking
- Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act of 2008
- The Right to Breastfeed