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D.C.’s Wage Theft Prevention Amendment Act of 2014 (the “Act”) changed wage-hour laws with the aim of enhancing worker protections.  Under the Act, employers are subject to enhanced remedies, fines, and requirements aimed at enforcing wage payment laws.  Violation of some provisions may cost employers thousands of dollars.  Accordingly, employers are encouraged to learn how this Act impacts their business practices and to take measures to comply with the law.

Increased Penalties

The Act increased penalties for employers committing wage-hour violations and subjected employers to criminal liability for negligent noncompliance in certain instances.  The Act also permits the Mayor to assess administrative penalties against employers and makes legal representation more accessible for wage theft plaintiffs.  As a part of strengthening worker protection laws, the Act treats threats as a form of retaliation.  The Act makes it unlawful for an employer to retaliate against an employee for lodging a complaint alleging noncompliance with wage-related laws.  Employees are protected from retaliation even when an employer mistakenly believes a complaint was made.

New Liabilities

The Act also creates new wage theft liability for employers.  For example, under the Act, general contractors and subcontractors can be held jointly and severally liable when a subcontractor fails to pay an employee her wages earned.  Related provisions have similar implications for temporary staffing firms.

Notice Requirements

To hold employers accountable for the payment of wages, under the Act’s notice requirement provisions, employers must furnish employees with written notice of their employment containing the name, phone number and address of the employer; the employee’s regular payday; and the employee’s rate of pay as well as the basis for the rate.  Employers must retain copies for proof of compliance.

 

This material is for informational purposes only and should not be relied on for legal advice.  For legal assistance with an employment matter, contact our Firm through the “Contact Us” page on our website, or calling us at 202-795-9999.