DC Law Review: Wage Theft Prevention Act
As HR consultants, it’s our job to stay on top of the evolving laws that govern the workplace. Laws can change day by day, or keep us waiting for months for a final outcome. The DC Wage and Theft Prevention Act was no different. Originally signed by Mayor Vincent Gray on September 19, 2014, the Act was amended and finally enacted on February 26, 2015. Several statutes, including the D.C. Wage Payment and Wage Collection Law, and the Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act were revised. What does this mean for Employers?
5 New Provisions that will Require Action for Employers under the New Wage Theft Prevention Act:
- Employers are required to give employees written notice of their wages. This notice must be given in English and the employee’s primary language. It must include:
- the employer’s name, address, and telephone number;
- the employee’s regular payday, rate of pay and basis of that rate; and
- any other information “as the Mayor considers material and necessary.”
A sample template was released by the mayor’s office and can be found here. These notices are required to be given to each employee by May 27th, 2015. Going forward, employers are required to provide the notice to all new hires or whenever the employer’s or employee’s information changes.
- Record-keeping requirements under the Act, require employers to keep a record of “precise time” a non–exempt employee works each day. This provision does not differ from FLSA regulation that requires Employers to ensure that non-exempt employees’ actual working time is tracked to the minute. As an example, an employee clocks in at 8:01am, out at 12:03pm for lunch, back in at 1:03pm and finally out for at the day at 5:01pm, this captures their precise times. Most payroll and timekeeping systems offer this needed timekeeping feature; contact your account representative for more information.
- The Act made amendments to the record-keeping requirements for the D.C. Accrued Sick and Safety Leave Act of 2008. Employers are now required to keep record of the amount of paid leave taken by an employee in addition to the already required record of an employee’s hours worked. These records must be maintained for at least three years and the requirements apply to both exempt and non-exempt employees.
- As with other compliance standards, The 2014 Act requires employers to post a copy or summary of the Act. The Mayor’s office will provide employers with a copy or summary of the within 60 days of the Act’s effective date.
- Finally, what consequences does The Act have for employers who fail to comply with the new requirements? Higher fines and back wages owed to wronged employees.
Although these updates are intended to protect your workforce, your non-exempt employees may feel like you are asking more of them. Remind them that these changes are meant to protect their earned wages and ensure they receive compensation for the work for they are doing. By guiding my non-exempt employees through the requirements, I was able to show the value of a new skill and explain the intent behind the Wage Theft Prevention Act. Check back often for other potential amendments this summer.