As reported in Hogan Lovells’ prior Employment Alert, the District of Columbia’s “wage theft” law — effective on February 26, 2015 — imposes numerous new requirements and increased penalties and potential liability relating to payment of wages to employees in the District of Columbia.1
Recent emergency amendments to become effective immediately upon signature of the Mayor will resolve a number of problems and unintended consequences with the original law.2 First, the amendments clarify that employers need not record the hours worked (called “precise time worked” in the new law) by employees who are bona fide executive, administrative, or professional employees exempt from minimum wage and overtime pay requirements. Second, the amendments provide that these same categories of exempt employees “shall be paid at least once per month,” not at least twice per month, which is the general standard for other employees. Third, the amendments resolve issues concerning the language for the new written wage information notices that must be given to new hires and incumbent employees. The notices must be provided in English, in a form made available by the Mayor (which has not yet been issued), and must only be provided in an alternate “primary” language if (a) the employer knows the employee’s primary language is not English or the employee requests that the notice be provided in a second language, and (b) the Mayor has provided a translation of the wage notice template in that second language.
Even with these amendments, the new wage theft law is a burdensome piece of legislation for employers, as described in our prior Employment Alert at the link above. Employers should pay careful attention to the status of upcoming regulations, forms and other guidance from the Mayor, and take steps to ensure compliance.