Each year, lawmakers assess current laws and determine whether to amend, abolish, or create policies. Because our economy is constantly changing, employment laws continue to change as well. The federal minimum wage has been a controversial issue on the ballot for many presidential candidates, and states throughout the country have already begun raising their minimum wages.
If you live and work in the District of Columbia, you should know the recent employment laws established on July 1st, 2019. As a business owner, these laws will affect the way you pay and manage your employees. As an employee, you can hold your employer accountable if they don’t abide by the new laws in place. The point of these laws is to create a fair working environment for employees and make it easier for families to get by.
The Paid Family Leave Program
The DC Office of Paid Family Leave (OPFL) amended the Paid Leave Act, and the changes went into effect on July 1st, 2019. The Paid Leave Act protects an employee’s job when they must leave work for an important personal matter. If an employee meets specific qualifications under the Paid Leave Act, then they can take eight weeks of paid leave for a new child, six weeks of paid leave to care for a sick family member, or two weeks of paid leave for personal health reasons.
Changes to the Paid Leave Act that came into play in July include funding details for the paid leave program. The government will now collect a 0.62 percent tax from private-sector employers, and the government will begin paying out this tax on July 1st, 2020. This tax won’t come from employee paychecks. Employers will fully-fund this program in the District.
Minimum Wage for DC Workers
Before July 1st, 2019, the minimum wage in the District of Columbia was $13.25 per hour. The government has now increased the minimum wage to $14 per hour. Any workers who receive income through tips will have their minimum wage increased from $3.89 per hour to $4.45 per hour.
Washington DC plans to continue increasing the minimum wage as time goes on. Washington DC expects the minimum wage to increase to $15 per hour in 2020 and to increase continually in accordance with the Consumer Price Index.
If you believe your employer has denied you of your rights to minimum wage, paid family leave, or other employee benefits, you can click here to receive help. You can file a claim with the Wage and Hour Division and fight for what you deserve.