DC Minimum Wage Laws

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If you are a minimum wage worker, it is essential that you understand the DC minimum wage laws. And if you believe your employer has violated these laws, you should contact an experienced attorney at Spiggle Law. Our minimum wage violations lawyers could fight for your rights. Call today and let us advocate for you.

Federal and Local Minimum Wage Laws

Implemented in 2009, the Fair Labor Standards Act mandates that all employers pay their employees no less than $7.25 per hour plus overtime rates of 1½ times the regular rate for all working hours over 40 in a given week. In addition to the federal law, DC sets its own minimum wage at $13.25 per hour, which is substantially higher than the federal minimum wage. The DC minimum was amended to increase to $14 per hour on July 1, 2019. The federal minimum wage and labor laws are overseen by the United States Department of Labor, which investigates and enforces the law under the Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage and overtime provisions. The Office of Wage Hour Compliance oversees DC minimum wage and labor laws.

Exceptions to DC Minimum Wage Laws

One exception to the minimum hourly wage law is tipped employees. Voters passed initiative 77 in 2018 – later repealed by the city council in October 2019 – that would have raised the minimum hourly rate for tipped employees over eight years until it equaled the regular minimum wage by 2026. Tipped employees in DC can be paid as little as $3.89 per hour, bumped up to $4.45 per hour as of July 1, 2019.

The Fair Labor Standards Act says tipped employees can be paid as little as $2.13 per hour, but it requires employers – restaurant owners, for example – to allow tipped employees to keep their tips. If the tips do not amount to the minimum wage, the employer is responsible for making up the difference. It is common for restaurants to have tip pools from which every waiter gets an equal share of the amount that the group receives as a whole. It is a violation of the law for non-tipped employees, such as those who work in a restaurant kitchen, to take from the tip pool. If that happens, the employer must pay the difference between the $3.89 per hour tipped-wage and DC’s minimum wage of $13.25 per hour, and if the employer violates that law, the penalties are as much as triple the disputed amount. For more information about the exceptions to DC Minimum wage laws, consult with our dedicated employment lawyers.

Restrictions for Workers Younger Than 18 Years Old

DC’s minimum-wage law says people under 18 years of age are restricted from working for pay except in certain, limited areas. For example, entertainment such as sports, movie, acting in theater or movies, agricultural, housework, and selling newspapers are all legal jobs for minors. People under the age of 18 are limited from working more than 48 hours per week.

Disabled Workers

Under DC law, disabled workers can work for less than minimum wage if the employer has a certificate from the Department of Labor. DC wage laws rely on the Department’s process and certification to determine whether an employer can be exempt from minimum wage laws for certain disabled workers. The goal of this is to encourage employers who meet certain requirements and who might not be able to find employment otherwise to pay workers who have disabilities. However, sometimes companies take advantage of the law and disabled workers by underpaying them according to the federal requirements.

If you have any questions about DC minimum wage laws, contact a skilled lawyer at Spiggle Law. Also, check out our free case assessment calculator.