As of February 26, 2015, businesses operating in the District of Columbia will have a new regulation to comply with – the D.C. Wage Theft Prevention Act. The Act imposes several new obligations on D.C. employers including wage notice requirements for existing employees and new hires, modifications to current wage payment laws, and increased penalties for noncompliance with District wage and hour leave laws.

There are three major provisions in regards to the D.C. Wage Theft Prevention Act that District employers need to be aware of and take steps to be sure they are in compliance:

  1. Expanded recordkeeping requirements. District employers must keep record of “precise time worked” by employees – including non-exempt status employees, although clarification is needed from the mayor’s office on what documentation will be sufficient enough to satisfy the requirement. Employers are required to maintain copies of pay-related records for 3 years or longer or the prevailing federal standard.
  2. New pay notice and posting requirements. Under the Act, employers must comply with more comprehensive wage notice requirements that must be provided in written format to current employees within 90 days of the Act’s effective date (May 27, 2015) and to new hires at the time of hiring. The notice must be made available in English and the employee’s language of origin. D.C.-based employers will also be required to display a copy or summary of the law.
  3. Increased penalties for noncompliance. The civil and criminal penalties for noncompliance of the D.C. Wage Theft Prevention Act increased for District employers. Failure to maintain payroll records may result in a $500 penalty per employee for the employer and the potential to face criminal penalties for negligence. In addition, the Act expanded obligations with respect to contractors/subcontractors and temporary staffing firms stating that they will now be jointly and severely liable for violations of the Act.

For more detailed information on the Act, review this summary notice from the D.C. Department of Employment Services. If you would like to know how this Act will impact you and your business, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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