2016 04 20 DC regs and Federal contractorsAlthough most federal contractors are based outside of the Beltway, many have a presence in Washington D.C.

If you are a federal contractor but do not have employees in the District, pay attention to what’s happening in DC. New regulations introduced by D.C. City Council are harbinger of federal regulations. Case in point, D.C. introduced a Wage Transparency Act in March 2015. A similar requirement was introduced by the OFCCP earlier this year. For more on this, read more about it here.

Of course, if you only have a handful of D.C.-based employees, you can’t afford to ignore the rules. So read on!

Minimum Wage Increase

The minimum wage in Washington D.C. is $10.50 per hour, one of the highest in the nation. In July, it will rise to $11.50. Starting in July 2017, the District’s minimum wage will increase annually based on an index of urban wages. Stay attuned to those changes. Set a reminder in your calendar. Keep your payroll system updated even during the summer!

Living Wage

Contractors to the District of Columbia and recipients of grants and loans from D.C. are subject to the living wage. Those organizations are required to pay D.C-based employees at least $13.84 per hour.

Transit Benefit Programs

Since January 2016, employers with 20 or more employees working in D.C. have to offer a transportation benefit program which includes at least one of the following:

  1. Allow employees to set aside pre-tax money each month to pay for their commuting costs;
  2. Supply a transit pass or reimburse the cost of vanpool or bicycling costs in an amount equal to the purchase price of a transit pass for the equivalent trip;
  3. Provide transportation at no cost to the employee in a vanpool or bus operated by the employer.

Note that fines for failing to offer at least one of these transit benefit range from $50 to $2,000 for the first offense.

Payroll Administration

D.C. employers are required to provide employees (both exempt and non-exempt) payroll information such as:

  • The employer’s name and any related “doing business as” names;
  • The address and telephone number for the employer’s main office or principal place of business;
  • Employee’s regular pay rate and the basis for the rate (whether it is calculated by the hour, shift, day or week, or on a salary, piece or commission basis);
  • The overtime rate of pay;
  • Exemptions from overtime; and
  • The employee’s regular payday.

This information also must be provided when any information regarding the employer or the employee’s compensation changes.

Final Paycheck

The timing of an employee’s last paycheck is also regulated in the District:

  • If the employee is terminated, the last paycheck must be issued the day after termination.
  • If an employee resigns, the last paycheck must be issued on the next regularly scheduled payday or within seven days after the resignation, whichever is earlier.
Timekeeping for Non-Exempt Employees

Requirements for timekeeping records have also been tightened. For non-exempt employees only, the specific hours worked each day must be recorded for each work day, not just the number of hours worked. This means keeping track of the start and finish times as well as the times for any breaks during the day, every work day!