Code of the District of Columbia

§ 32–1306. Enforcement, records and subpoenas.

(a)(1) The Mayor shall enforce and administer the provisions of this chapter, the Living Wage Act, the Sick and Safe Leave Act, and the Minimum Wage Revision Act, including by conducting sua sponte and complaint-initiated investigations into whether violations have occurred, holding hearings, and instituting actions for penalties. Any and all prosecutions of violations of this chapter, the Living Wage Act, the Minimum Wage Revision Act, or the Sick and Safe Leave Act undertaken in court shall be conducted in the name of the District of Columbia by the Office of the Attorney General.

(2)(A) The Attorney General, acting in the public interest, including the need to deter future violations, may bring a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction against an employer or other person violating this chapter, the Minimum Wage Revision Act, the Sick and Safe Leave Act, or the Living Wage Act for restitution or for injunctive, compensatory, or other authorized relief for any individual or for the public at large. Upon prevailing in court, the Attorney General shall be entitled to:

(i) Reasonable attorneys' fees and costs;

(ii) Statutory penalties equal to any administrative penalties provided by law; and

(iii) On behalf of an aggrieved employee:

(I) The payment of back wages unlawfully withheld;

(II) Additional liquidated damages equal to treble the back wages unlawfully withheld; and

(III) Equitable relief as may be appropriate.

(B) The Attorney General shall not in any action brought pursuant to this section be awarded an amount already recovered by an employee.

(a-1) The Mayor shall encourage reporting pursuant to this section by keeping confidential, to the maximum extent permitted by applicable laws, the name and other identifying information of the employee or other person reporting a violation during the course of any investigation; provided, that with the authorization of such person, the Mayor may disclose the employee or person’s name and identifying information as necessary to conduct a hearing and enforce this chapter or other employee protection laws, including the Living Wage Act, the Minimum Wage Revision Act, or the Sick and Safe Leave Act.

(b)(1) The Mayor shall have power to administer oaths and examine witnesses under oath, issue subpoenas, compel the attendance of witnesses, and the production of papers, books, accounts, records, payrolls, documents, and testimony and to take depositions and affidavits in any proceedings before him.

(2) The Attorney General shall have the power to investigate whether there are violations of this chapter, the Living Wage Act, the Sick and Safe Leave Act, or the Minimum Wage Revision Act, and administer oaths and examine witnesses under oath, issue subpoenas, compel the attendance of witnesses, and the production of papers, books, accounts, records, payrolls, documents, and testimony and to take depositions and affidavits in connection with any such investigation.

(c) A person to whom a subpoena authorized by this section has been issued shall have the opportunity to move to quash or modify the subpoena in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. In case of failure of a person to comply with any subpoena lawfully issued under this section, or on the refusal of a witness to testify to any matter regarding which he or she may be lawfully interrogated, it shall be the duty of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, or any judge thereof, upon application by the Mayor or the Attorney General, to compel obedience by attachment proceedings for contempt, as in the case of disobedience of the requirements of a subpoena issued from the Court or a refusal to testify therein.

(d)(1) Every employer subject to any provision of this chapter or of any regulation or order issued pursuant to this chapter shall make, keep, and preserve, for a period of not less than 3 years, or the prevailing federal standard at the time the record is created, which shall be identified in rules issued pursuant to this chapter, whichever is greater, a record of:

(A) The name, address, and occupation of each employee;

(B) A record of the date of birth of an employee under 19 years of age;

(C) The rate of pay and the amount paid each pay period to each employee;

(D) The precise time worked each day and each workweek by each employee, except for employees who are not paid on an hourly basis and who are exempt from the minimum wage and overtime requirements under § 32-1004(a); and

(E) Any other records or information as the Mayor may prescribe by regulation as necessary or appropriate for the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter.

(2)(A) Pursuant to the investigative authority conferred upon the Mayor and the Attorney General in subsections (a) and (b)(2) of this section, respectively, and notwithstanding any other provision of law, any records an employer maintains pursuant to the requirements of this chapter, the Living Wage Act, the Sick and Safe Leave Act, and the Minimum Wage Revision Act shall be open and made available for inspection or transcription by the Mayor, the Mayor's authorized representative, or the Office of the Attorney General upon demand at any reasonable time. An employer shall furnish to the Mayor, the Mayor's authorized representative, or the Office of the Attorney General on demand a sworn statement of records and information upon forms prescribed or approved by the Mayor or Attorney General.

(B) No employer may be found to be in violation of subparagraph (A) of this paragraph unless the employer had an opportunity to challenge the Mayor or Attorney General's demand before a judge, including an administrative law judge.

(e) Every employer shall furnish to each employee at the time of payment of wages an itemized statement showing the:

(1) Date of the wage payment;

(2) Gross wages paid;

(3) Deductions from and additions to wages;

(4) Net wages paid;

(5) Hours worked during the pay period; and

(6) Any other information as the Mayor may prescribe by regulation.


(Aug. 3, 1956, 70 Stat. 977, ch. 924, § 6; July 8, 1963, 77 Stat. 77, Pub. L. 88-60, § 1; July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 570, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 155(a); Dec. 24, 2013, D.C. Law 20-61, § 2062(d), 60 DCR 12472; Feb. 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-157, § 2(d), 61 DCR 10157; Apr. 7, 2017, D.C. Law 21-266, § 2(d), 64 DCR 2140; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 2132, 65 DCR 9388.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 36-106.

1973 Ed., § 36-606.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 20-61, in (a), substituted “for the payment of wages, liquidated damages, and penalties” for “for penalties” and added the last sentence.

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-157 rewrote (a); and added (a-1).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2132 of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-458, Oct. 3, 2018, 65 DCR 11212).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2132 of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-434, July 30, 2018, 65 DCR 8200).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(d) of Wage Theft Prevention Clarification and Overtime Fairness Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-33, Mar. 28, 2017, 64 DCR 3089).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(d) of Wage Theft Prevention Clarification and Overtime Fairness Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-583, Dec. 21, 2016, 63 DCR 16031).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2062(d) of the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-130, July 30, 2013, 60 DCR 11384, 20 DCSTAT 1827).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2062(d) of the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-204, October 17, 2013, 60 DCR 15341, 20 DCSTAT 2311).

For temporary (90 days) repeal of D.C. Law 20-157, § 7, see § 2(c) of the Wage Theft Prevention Correction and Clarification Emergency Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-544, Dec. 29, 2014, 62 DCR 243, 20 STAT 4458).

For temporary (90 days) repeal of D.C. Law 20-157, § 7, see § 4 of the Wage Theft Prevention Correction and Clarification Emergency Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-188, Oct. 27, 2015, 62 DCR 14224).

For temporary (90 days) repeal of D.C. Law 20-157, § 7, see § 4 of the Wage Theft Prevention Correction and Clarification Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-293, Jan. 27, 2016, 63 DCR 1215).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) repeal of D.C. Law 20-157, § 7, see § 4 of the Wage Theft Prevention Correction and Clarification Temporary Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Law 20-240, March 13, 2015, 62 DCR 1332).

For temporary (225 days) repeal of D.C. Law 20-157, § 7, see § 4 of the Wage Theft Prevention Correction and Clarification Temporary Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Law 21-57, Jan. 30, 2016, 62 DCR 15602).

Short Title

Section 2061 of D.C. Law 20-61 provided that Subtitle G of Title II of the act may be cited as the “Wage Theft Prevention Amendment Act of 2013”.

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-61: Section 11001 of D.C. Law 20-61 provided that, except as otherwise provided, the act shall apply as of October 1, 2013.

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-157: Section 7 of D.C. Law 20-157 provided that the act shall apply as of October 1, 2014, and that the act shall apply to violations occurring after October 1, 2014.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.