Washington, DC, Will Raise the Minimum Wage


Over the last few years, Washington, DC, has steadily been increasing its minimum wage, from $11.50 in 2016 to $15.00 in 2020, in accord with the District of Columbia’s Minimum Wage Act. Tipped employees have also received increases to their minimum wage, from $2.77 to $5.00 over the same five-year span.

In 2021, for the first time, the minimum wage will start increasing to match the Consumer Price Index. This year, the minimum wage will rise to $15.20. This increase also means that the living wage rate in Washington, DC, will rise to $15.20 per hour. All recipients of new District contracts worth $100,000 or more or recipients of government assistance of $100,000 or more for employees and $50,000 or more for subcontractors must pay employees and subcontractors no less than the current living wage.


Why Employers Need to Pay Attention to the Minimum Wage Laws in Washington, DC

The District of Columbia has among the nation’s stiffest penalties for employers who don’t pay wages or pay on time. For example, employers that fail to pay an employee properly are required to pay that employee back wages owed. The District of Columbia (Washington DC) outlines the following, employees are entitled to recover 10% of their unpaid wages for every day that the wages remain unpaid, and up to four times the wages that they are owed. The employee is also entitled to their attorney’s fees and costs spent in trying to collect their unpaid wages.


Employers Need to Update Their District of Columbia Minimum Wage Poster

All employers in Washington, DC, must display labor law posters, including the minimum wage poster. The minimum wage labor law poster is detailed and sets forth important information for District employees. The notice details the following: exceptions to minimum wage, overtime pay requirements, requirements for wage deductions, recordkeeping, and tipped employees. In addition, the notice specifies that employers must pay for certain uniform expenses, may deduct for certain meal expenses, and must pay additional wages in certain circumstances, such as split shifts. Finally, the notice provides the contact information for the District of Columbia’s Department of Employment Services.


Next Steps for Washington, DC, Employersddd

If you’re an employer in Washington, DC, you need to update your labor law posters to reflect the latest change to the District minimum wage. You can get your poster as part of a convenient bundle on our website. Or you can ensure that you’ve always got the latest labor law posters at the ready with our subscription plan, which gets you free mandatory poster updates for one year plus a warranty that protects you against poster violations. Contact us to learn more about your labor law posting requirements in Washington, DC.