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DC Wage Theft Laws: How to Prevent Claims

There are plenty of reasons to start a business in Washington, DC. The growing populace, the federal government, lobbyists, the vast number of associations, and the burgeoning startup scene.  But is DC really business friendly? When it comes to laws and regulations in the District, some would argue that it is not. Or at least not as business-friendly as other states and cities.

Just one example of a local DC law that has a direct impact on DC-based businesses is the Wage Theft Prevention Amendment Act of 2014.  This law is similar to Wage Theft laws in other cities, but the administrative burden that it imposes can challenge small businesses.  With the law set to go into effect in Mid-December of 2014, employers will be expected to comply with the law within 90 days of its effective date.  What does compliance entail? Here’s a brief overview of employee notice requirements:

  • That a related “notice” be provided to your employees;
  • The notice be in English AND the employee’s primary language;
  • The notice must include Company’s Name, Address, and Phone Number;
  • Notice must contain the employee’s rate of pay and the basis in which it is paid;
  • The notice also has to include when the regular pay day is for employees;
  • Anything else the Mayor deems should be provided to employees;

Sound like a herculean task? Not really, if you have the resources to know about the law and comply with the law administratively.  Not only that, but this notice must be provided any time you have new employees or if an employee receives a pay change.  One of the recommendations we’ve been making is to provide every employee with an action form.  This is a form letter documenting any action that the company is taking as it relates to the employee’s employment with the company.  Giving an employee a raise? Action form.  Changing an employees job title or duties? Action form. An employee should receive an action form when they’re hired, when they leave the company, and any time there’s a change to their employment while they are employed by your company.

The fine for not complying? $500 per employee. So get ready to comply or be prepared to break out the checkbook.

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