Labor and Employment

District Of Columbia Prepares To Expand Wage Transparency Laws

By Dennis Chong.

On January 12, 2024, Mayor Muriel Bowser signed the District of Columbia Wage Transparency Omnibus Amendment Act of 2023.  The Act has now been sent to Congress for review, and, absent Congressional action, is set to go into effect on June 30, 2024.

The Act amends and expands the Wage Transparency Act of 2014, which made it unlawful for employers to prohibit employees from discussing their wages with fellow employees.  The new Act will now require that job postings, both internal and external, state the “minimum and maximum projected salary or hourly pay in all job listings and position descriptions advertised.”  The District would join California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawai’i, Maryland, Nevada, New York, Rhode Island, and Washington in enacting pay transparency laws.

The Act also expands the reach of the 2014 Act by including not just “wages” but also “compensation,” including nonmonetary benefits, in its coverage.

In addition, the 2023 Act prohibits employers from asking about a job applicants’ wage history, whether directly from the applicant or by contacting prior employers directly.  It also requires that employers disclose to job applicants the existence of available health care benefits before the first interview.

The Act applies to all employers in the District with at least one employee (but excludes the District and federal governments).  It is not clear whether this reach extends to remote work, or how much contact the employee must have with the District in order for this law to apply.

Almost all employers in the District should revisit their hiring practices to ensure that efforts to fill positions after June 30, 2024 contain explicit expected pay ranges for the position offered.  Employers should also ensure that job applicants are not asked their salary history at any point in their hiring process, including in any application form.

As businesses prepare for the changes set to take effect on June 30, 2024, seeking legal guidance and expertise can be invaluable. At Carr Maloney, our team is well-versed in employment law matters and stands ready to assist employers in navigating the complexities of these regulations, ensuring they remain in compliance while upholding fair and transparent practices in their hiring processes. Contact us today for expert guidance and support in adapting to these legislative changes.

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