Washington, D.C. is poised to extend the reach of its minimum wage requirements. On January 10, 2024, Washington D.C. Mayor Bowser signed the Minimum Wage Clarification Amendment Act of 2023 (B25-0134) (the “Amendment”), which modifies the circumstances under which an employee must be paid the District of Columbia’s minimum wage.

Traditionally, D.C.’s wage and hour law has required employers to pay employees at least the D.C. minimum wage when they (i) perform more than 50% of their work in the District, or (ii) the employee is based in D.C., and “regularly spends a substantial amount of their working time” in the District and not more than 50% of their working time in another state. However, under the Amendment, employees must receive the D.C. minimum wage for all hours worked in the District when they perform at least two hours of work for an employer in the District within a single workweek.

As a reminder, the D.C. minimum wage is currently $17.00 per hour for non-tipped workers and $8.00 per hour for tipped workers. Beginning July 1, 2024, the minimum wage will increase to $17.50 for non-tipped workers and $10.00 for tipped workers. Further, the minimum wages for non-tipped and tipped workers will converge by July 1, 2027. In November 2022, the District of Columbia Tip Credit Elimination Act was passed by eligible voters as part of Ballot Initiative 82. However, until the two minimum wages converge, D.C. employers should conduct separate reviews of (i) non-exempt non-tipped and (ii) non-exempt tipped employee compensation for compliance.

Pursuant to D.C.’s legislative process, Congress has 30 legislative days to review the Amendment before it can officially become law. The Amendment was transmitted to Congress on January 18, 2024, and the review process is expected to conclude on March 7. Assuming Congress does not pass, and President Biden does not sign, a joint resolution disapproving the law (which is unlikely), the expanded requirements will apply to D.C. employers following publication in the District of Columbia Register.

Jessica Hajdukiewicz, a Law Clerk – Admission Pending (not admitted to the practice of law) in the firm’s New York office, contributed to the preparation of this post.

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