The Washington, D.C. Council (the Council) has yet again taken action to delay enforcement of Initiative 82, the District’s new law to eliminate the use of the “tip credit” for certain service industry employees by July 1, 2027.
As we previously reported, Initiative 82 outlines a series of increases to the tipped minimum wage beginning on January 1, 2023. Before it could become law, however, Initiative 82, like most legislation in the District, was subject to federal Congressional review. Due to the delay in selecting federal Congressional leadership earlier this year, Initiative 82 could not be transmitted to Congress for review prior to the first proposed wage increase scheduled for January 1, 2023. As a result, the Council adopted emergency legislation postponing the initial increase of the tipped minimum wage from January 1 to May 1, 2023 (the Emergency Amendment). Unlike other pieces of legislation, emergency legislation is not subject to Congressional review. As such, the Emergency Amendment only needed Mayor Muriel Bowser’s signature to become effective on January 26, 2023.
Under D.C. law, however, emergency legislation is only effective for 90 days, so the Emergency Amendment is set to expire on April 26, 2023. As a result, in mid-February, the Council adopted temporary legislation to simultaneously repeal the Emergency Amendment and once again delay the initial increase of the tipped minimum wage until May 1, 2023 (the Temporary Amendment). Mayor Bowser signed the Temporary Amendment on February 23, 2023 – the same day that Initiative 82 became law.
Unlike the Emergency Amendment, the Temporary Amendment is subject to federal review, so it will be sent to Congress for consideration. The Temporary Amendment will only become law if the 30-day review period concludes without Congressional disapproval.
Importantly, neither the Emergency Amendment nor the Temporary Amendment will have any impact on Initiative 82’s increases to the tipped minimum wage scheduled for after January 1, 2023.