Last night we participated in the "Business Stakeholders Meeting" convened by the leadership of the District of Columbia's Department of Employment Services (DOES) as part of its public education campaign regarding the Wage Theft Prevention Amendment Act of 2014 (Act). Based on a lively question-and-answer session, we can report:
- The Notice of Hire Template. You do not need to use the DOES template of the "Notice of Hire – Employment Status and Acknowledgement of Wage Rate(s)." The DOES is encouraging employers to modify the template or create their own forms to suit the particulars of their own organizations. The DOES simply wants employers to convey the information required by the Act.
- Electronic Notification. We asked: "If an employer posts the required information in an employee's electronic personnel folder or sends an email to an employee with a link to that notice, and the system records that the employee has accessed the notice, does that record of access by the employee satisfy the Act's requirement of a 'signature' by the employee acknowledging receipt?" The DOES said: Yes.
- Federal FLSA and DC Law. The DOES template notice lists only the administrative, professional and executive exemptions. We asked whether compliance with the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's scheme of exemptions, including exemptions not expressly identified in the Act (e.g., highly compensated, computer professional), satisfies the Act. The DOES said: Yes.
- Precise Time-Keeping. We asked whether compliance with the federal FLSA's "rounding" regulations (29 CFR 785.48(b)) satisfies the Act's requirement of precise time-keeping. The DOES said: Yes.
- The "Zip Code Project." The DOES is continuing to knock on employers' doors. We have raised with the DOES our concerns about this project and hope to have more to report in the near future.