D.C. Expands Wage Transparency Law

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier

The District of Columbia’s Wage Transparency Act has been around for nearly a decade.  The District recently expanded the Act through D.C. Act 25-367 to broaden employer pay transparency obligations.

The Mayor signed the law on January 12, 2024, and it will be effective June 30, 2024 if it survives congressional review.

The amendments require covered employers to provide a position’s wage range in all job listings and position descriptions, including the minimum and maximum projected salary or hourly rate.  Employers are obligated to provide a range that they in “good faith” think reflects what they will pay as of the time of the job posting, whether an advertised job vacancy, promotion, or internal transfer.

Employers must also disclose to prospective employees, before the first interview, the healthcare benefits they may receive, and post workplace notices regarding the wage transparency law and employee rights.

Employers are prohibited from screening prospective employees based on their wage history.  To this end, employers may not (a) require that a prospective employee’s wage history satisfy minimum or maximum criteria; (b) request or require (as a condition of being interviewed or being considered for employment) that a prospective employee disclose their wage history prospective employee’s wage history; or (c) request a candidate’s wage history from the candidate’s prior employers.

Compensation is defined to include any form of monetary or nonmonetary benefit an employer provides or promises to employees in exchange for the employees’ services.  This includes things like health benefits and leave.

Wage history means employee compensation-related information from prior employment.

All individuals, firms, associations, and corporations that employee at least one employee in the District, excluding the federal and DC governments, are covered by the law.

The DC Attorney General is authorized to investigate and bring suit and, if a violation is found, the law provides for penalties, including reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs, as well as statutory penalties equal to administrative penalties that are assessed.  There is no private cause of action.

DC law already bars employers from prohibiting compensation discussions and from taking adverse action against and/or retaliating against employees who inquire about their compensation.

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