Washington, DC is a complicated place. It’s a city and a district. It has a representative in the House of Representatives but is not an actual state. Carved out of Virginia and Maryland the site of the nation’s capital was selected by none other than the nation’s first president, George Washington (hence the “Washington” part). As per James Madison, its selection to be the capital was for the very reason that it was a distinct entity and not attached to, and thus with no allegiance to, any state in particular. This quasi-state arrangement has been a major source of governance related issues since the city’s founding. The city has a mayor, but it receives its funding from the federal government. DC also has the most aggressive minimum wage laws in the country.
Beginning last month (July 1, 2018), the minimum wage in the District of Columbia increased from $12.50 per hour to $13.25 per hour for all workers, regardless of size of employer. This is exactly on schedule as Mayor Muriel Bowser signed the “Fair Shot Minimum Wage Amendment Act of 2016 into law on June 27, 2016 after unanimous passage by the D.C. Council. The law also includes provisions to further increase the minimum wage in subsequent years.
Under the new law, the minimum wage will progressively increase to $15.00 per hour on July 1, 2020, then increasing each successive year starting in 2021 in proportion to the increase in the Consumer Price Index. Tipped workers are not left out of this new paradigm and are slated to make $5 and hour by 2020 and are included in the Consumer Price Index increases starting in 2021.
The DC Department of Employment Services (DOES) under the auspices of their Office of Wage – Hour mandates the posting of this information in all workplaces. The poster lists the exceptions to the minimum wage which include
- Handicapped workers for whom the employer has received an authorizing certificate from the US Department of Labor,
- Persons employed under provisions of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, and
- Persons employed under provisions of the Youth Employment Act.
The District of Columbia Minimum Wage Poster is one of the most comprehensive in the nation and it must remain in a visible location where employees may read it. The two 8 ½ x 11 page summary can be found on the DOES website.
Some of the other things this required posting makes clear is the employers reporting and record keeping requirements. Every employer shall make and keep for at least three years accurate time and payroll records for each employee, in addition to other detailed records required by the act. Also, overtime pay is also included on the poster reminding workers that, “At least 1 ½ times the regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek.”