The District of Columbia’s minimum wage will increase to $11.50 per hour, from $8.25 per hour, by July 2016 under the D.C. Minimum Wage Amendment Act (“MWAA”), signed into law by District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray. 

Pending Congressional review, the first of three increases under the MWAA becomes effective July 1, 2014, when the minimum wage will jump $1.25 to $9.50 per hour. The rate will rise again on July 1, 2015, to $10.50 per hour, and again to $11.50 per hour on July 1, 2016. Thereafter, the MWAA indexes the rate to the cost of living. With these changes, the minimum wage in the District of Columbia soon will be among the highest in the nation. Under the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, Congress has 30 days to review the MWAA before it becomes law. 

The minimum wage increase comes on the heels of a significant increase in the rate under the Washington D.C. Living Wage Act, from $11.75 per hour to $13.40 per hour. The Living Wage Act, which went into effect June 8, 2006, requires recipients of D.C. contracts or government assistance (e.g., grant, loan or tax increment financing) to pay affiliated employees and subcontractors who perform services under the contracts no less than a specified living wage. For more information on the Living Wage Act rate increase, see our article, Washington D.C. Living Wage Increased to $13.40, Retroactive to January 2013