DC Will Have New Pay Transparency and Wage History Requirements

On January 12, Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser signed into law the Wage Transparency Omnibus Amendment Act of 2023. The Act amends the DC Wage Transparency Act of 2014 and is scheduled to go into effect on June 30, assuming it passes the mandatory 30-day congressional review.

The Act applies to all employers who employ at least one employee in the District, except for the DC and federal governments. It requires employers to provide “the minimum and maximum projected salary or hourly pay in all job listings and position descriptions advertised.” In stating the minimum and maximum salary or hourly pay for the position, the range must “extend from the lowest to the highest salary or hourly pay that the employer in good faith believes at the time of the posting it would pay for the advertised job, promotion, or transfer opportunity.” Thus, the Act applies to both internal and external job postings.

Unlike some other pay transparency laws, the Act requires employers to disclose to prospective employees the existence of health care benefits that employees may receive before the first interview.

The Act prohibits employers from screening prospective employees based on their wage history, “including by requiring that a prospective employee’s wage history satisfy minimum or maximum criteria or by requesting or requiring as a condition of being interviewed or as a condition of continuing to be considered for an offer of employment that a prospective employee disclose the prospective employee’s wage history.” It further prohibits employers from “seeking the wage history of a prospective employee from a person who previously employed the individual.” “Wage history” includes “all forms of monetary and nonmonetary benefits an employer provides or promises to provide an employee in exchange for the employee’s services to the employer.”

Employers will be required to post a notice in their workplace notifying employees of their rights under this Act. The notice shall be posted in a conspicuous place in at least one location where employees congregate.

The DC Attorney General will enforce the Act, which means they will have the power to investigate whether violations of the Act occurred and to bring a civil action against an employer who violated the Act for restitution or for injunctive, compensatory, or other authorized relief for any individual or for the public at large. If the Attorney General prevails, they will be entitled to reasonable attorneys’ fees, costs, and statutory penalties.

In enacting the Act, DC follows other states that have recently passed pay transparency measures, including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Nevada, New York, Rhode Island, and Washington. DC employers should begin preparing to comply with the law by ensuring their job postings provide the required information and by training recruiters and interviewers about the prohibition on seeking wage histories of applicants.


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