District of Columbia Increases Inspections Following Wage Theft Law Implementation

Following the February 26, 2015 implementation of the District of Columbia's Wage Theft Prevention Amendment Act (the “Act”), the Department of Employment Services (“DOES”) launched an “outreach” program entitled the “Zip Code Project.”  Through the Zip Code Project, DOES is sending teams of investigators door-to-door to conduct citywide inspections of businesses under the auspice of educating employers on the Act and all other applicable laws overseen by the Labor Standards Bureau, such as laws concerning living wage, paid time off, occupational safety and health, and workers’ compensation.  

During these inspections, which – according to the DOES Office of Wage-Hour Calendar of Events – are scheduled every Monday and Wednesday, investigators will check to ensure that each visited business has posted in a conspicuous place all required posters.  Additionally, investigators may also conduct random reviews of payroll records to ensure there are no violations of any recordkeeping requirements.  Although there are no penalties or fines assessed at these inspections, investigators have been issuing a Notice of Violation and placing the business on a follow-up visit list.  If violations are found, the investigator will identify each of the violations and provide the business with a copy of the violations.  The DOES will follow up with such businesses to ensure violations have been remedied within 30 calendar days. 

Although employers do have the right to refuse to admit DOES inspectors, it is believed the DOES is putting those employers on a follow-up inspection list.  The DOES will be prioritizing its inspections in industries with historically high rates of labor-standards violations such as construction, food services, home health care, daycare, and retail industries.  Employers in the District should ensure compliance with all posting requirements and should alert management of the possibility of a visit by the DOES.  

The required posters in the District of Columbia are as follows:1

  • Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act
  • Child Labor Law Poster +2
  • D.C. Family Medical Leave Act & Parental Leave Act Poster**3
  • D.C. Equal Employment Opportunity Poster**
  • Unemployment Compensation+
  • Summary of D.C. Minimum Wage Act*
  • Summary of the D.C. Living Wage Act*
  • Workers' Compensation, Notice of Compliance***
  • Occupational Safety and Health+4
  • Pregnant Workers Fairness Act5
  • The Right to Breastfeed6
  • Wage Theft Prevention Amendment Act of 2014 Summary7

 1 Instructions for how to obtain posters marked with an (+) are located at: http://does.ci.washington.dc.us/does/frames.asp?doc=/does/lib/does/pdf/Post_Req.pdf; Posters marked with a (*) are available at: http://does.ci.washington.dc.us/does/cwp/view,a,1233,q,538254,doesNav,%7C32064%7C.asp; Posters marked with a (**) are available at: http://ohr.dc.gov/page/workplace-posters;  Posters marked with a (***) are available at: http://does.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/does/publication/attachments/DOES_Notice%20of%20Compliance.pdf.

2 Employers with minor employees.

3 This posting requirement may also be fulfilled by electronic posting on the employer's website.

4 No independent D.C. poster; post federal OSHA notices.

5 All employers are required to post and maintain in a conspicuous place a notice of rights in both English and Spanish regarding employees' right to needed reasonable accommodations pursuant to the Act.  See more at: http://www.littler.com/publication-press/publication/new-protections-pregnant-employees-set-take-effect-district-columbia;


Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.