The District of Columbia has taken a significant step forward in enhancing wage transparency and expanding employee rights with the enactment of the Wage Transparency Omnibus Amendment Act of 2023. This act amends the Wage Transparency Act of 2014, introducing several critical provisions aimed at promoting fairness and clarity in employment practices within the District.
Key aspects of this amendment include:
- The act refines the definition of “employer” to ensure a broad application of the law across various employment settings. It applies to an individual, firm, association, or corporation that employs at least one employee in the District, excluding District and Federal government entities.
- Employers are now barred from screening prospective employees based on their previous wage history. This includes setting employment criteria based on past compensation or requiring wage history disclosure as part of the interview or employment offer process.
- All job advertisements and postings must now include a minimum and maximum salary or hourly pay range. This range should reflect the employer’s good faith estimate of compensation for the position at the time of the posting.
- Before the first interview, employers must disclose to prospective employees the existence of healthcare benefits that employees may receive, providing early transparency about potential employment benefits.
- Employers are required to visibly post notices within the workplace, informing employees of their rights under the Wage Transparency Act.
- The Office of the Attorney General is empowered to investigate violations, administer oaths, issue subpoenas, and take necessary legal actions to enforce compliance. Successful enforcement actions may result in restitution, injunctive relief, and the award of reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs.
The Wage Transparency Omnibus Amendment Act of 2023 represents a strong effort to ensure equitable employment practices and to protect employees from discrimination based on wage history. By mandating greater transparency and prohibiting discriminatory practices, DC aims to foster a more inclusive and fair job market.
This act is set to go into effect on June 30, 2024, assuming it is approved following a congressional review.