District of Columbia Employment Law Update – January 2017

District of Columbia

Wage Theft Prevention Clarification and Overtime Fairness Emergency Amendment Act of 2016

On December 21, 2016, District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser signed into law the Wage Theft Prevention Clarification and Overtime Fairness Emergency Amendment Act of 2016. The act relates to the payment and collection of wages; administrative hearings in relation to wage theft cases; payment of wages to executive, administrative, and professional employees, subcontractors and general contractors; certain civil actions; minimum wage and overtime; prevailing wages; temporary staffing firms; recordkeeping requirements; and other matters.

The law went into effect upon signing and expires on March 21, 2017. Final legislation approved by Congress should go into effect upon expiration.

Read D.C. B21-0965

D.C. Council Passes Fair Credit in Employment Amendment Act

On December 20, 2016, the District of Columbia Council unanimously voted to approve the Fair Credit in Employment Amendment Act of 2016 (DCB21-0244). The act amends the D.C. Human Rights Act to bar employers, employment agencies, and labor organizations from directly or indirectly requiring, requesting, suggesting, or causing any employee to submit credit information, or even using, accepting, referring to, or inquiring into an employee’s credit information. Credit information means any written, oral, or other communication of information bearing on an employee’s creditworthiness, credit standing, credit capacity, or credit history.

The ban does not apply:

  • Where an employer is otherwise required by D.C. law to require, request, suggest, or cause any employee to submit credit information; or use, accept, refer to, or inquire into an employee’s credit information.
  • Where an employee is applying for a position as or is employed as a police officer with the Metropolitan Police Department, as a special police officer or campus police officer as specified, or in a position with a law enforcement function.
  • To the Office of the Chief Financial Officer of the District of Columbia.
  • Where an employee is required to possess a security clearance under D.C. law.
  • To disclosures by D.C. government employees of their credit information to the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability or the Office of the Inspector General, or to the use of such disclosures by those agencies.
  • To financial institutions, where the position involves access to personal financial information.
  • Where an employer requests or receives credit information pursuant to a lawful subpoena, court order, or law enforcement investigation.

Those that violate the law may be fined $1,000 for a first violation, $2,500 for a second violation, and $5,000 for each subsequent violation.

The act will go into effect upon signing by the mayor and approval by Congress.

Read D.C. B21-0244