Pay Transparency Arrives at the Nation’s Capital

The District of Columbia will soon join an ever-growing list of jurisdictions that require employers to disclose compensation on job postings.  In addition to pay scale disclosure, the District of Columbia Wage Transparency Omnibus Amendment Act of 2023 (the Act),1 which was signed by the mayor on January 12, 2024 and has now been transmitted to Congress for review, also requires healthcare  disclosures prior to the first interview.


While initial versions of the Act limited applicability to employers with a certain number of employees only, the final Act applies to any employer with at least one employee in the District, except for the District of Columbia and the federal government.  Although the Act is silent on application to remote positions, if the position could be filled in the District, the Act’s requirements could arguably be extended.   

Required Disclosures

Covered employers must disclose the minimum and maximum projected salary or hourly pay in all advertised job listings and position descriptions. The range shall extend from the lowest to the highest salary or hourly pay that the employer, in good faith, believes it would pay for the advertised job, promotion or transfer opportunity at the time of the posting.

The employer must also disclose to applicants, either in the job posting or before the first interview, the existence of healthcare benefits.

Use of Wage History

The Act prohibits employers from screening applicants based on their wage history or seeking the wage history of a candidate from a former employer. It further prohibits an employer from: 1) requiring that employees refrain from disclosing or discussing compensation of other employees, and 2) discharging, disciplining, interfering with, or negatively affecting terms and conditions of employment, or otherwise retaliating against an employee who inquires about their compensation. The Act defines “compensation” to mean “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.” For example, an employer may not forbid an employee from discussing their salary, health or retirement benefits or PTO with other employees.

Notice Requirements

The Act requires employers to post a notice informing employees of their rights under the Wage Transparency Omnibus Amendment Act of 2023. The notice must be posted in a “conspicuous” place in at least one location where employees congregate in the workplace.

Enforcement by the Attorney General

The Act does not provide for a private right of action, but does give enforcement authority to the Office of the Attorney General, which may investigate whether violations have occurred.  The Attorney General is empowered to conduct interviews and depositions, issue subpoenas, and compel document productions. The Attorney General may bring a civil action against an employer “or other person” violating the Act and may seek restitution, injunctive, or compensatory relief, and “any other relief for any individual or for the public at large.” If the Attorney General’s Office prevails, it is entitled to attorneys’ fees and costs and statutory penalties equal to “any administrative penalties provided by law.”  In addition, violations of the Act may result in civil fines assessed by the mayor in amounts ranging between $1,000 and $20,000 per violation.

When does the Act go into effect?

The Act is currently undergoing a 30-day period of congressional review as required under the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, and then will be published in the District of Columbia Register.  The slated effective date is currently June 30, 2024.   

See Footnotes

​1 Code of the District of Columbia, Section 32-1451 through 32-1457.

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.