Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter X-A. Living Wage Requirements.


§ 2–220.01. Short title.

This subchapter may be cited as the “Living Wage Act of 2006”.


(June 8, 2006, D.C. Law 16-118, § 101, 53 DCR 2602.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-301.181.

Delegation of Authority

Delegation of Authority pursuant to D.C. Law 16-118, the “Way to Work Amendment Act of 2006”, see Mayor’s Order 2006-122, September 27, 2006 ( 53 DCR 9313).


§ 2–220.02. Definitions.

For purposes of this subchapter, the term:

(1) “Affiliated employee” means any individual employed by a recipient who received compensation directly from government assistance or a contract with the District of Columbia government (“District Government”), including any employee of a contractor or subcontractor of a recipient who performs services pursuant to government assistance or contract.

(2) “Contract” means a written agreement between a recipient and the District government.

(3) “Government assistance” means a grant, loan, or tax increment financing that results in a financial benefit from an agency, commission, instrumentality, or other entity of the District government.

(4) “Living wage” means an hourly wage rate of $11.75 per hour, regardless of whether health care benefits are provided.

(5) “Recipient” means any individual, sole proprietorship, partnership, association, joint venture, limited liability company, corporation, or any other form of business that enters into a contract with or receives government assistance from the District government.


(June 8, 2006, D.C. Law 16-118, § 102, 53 DCR 2602.)


§ 2–220.03. Living wage payment.

(a) All recipients of contracts or government assistance in the amount of $100,000 or more shall pay their affiliated employees no less than the living wage. All subcontractors of recipients of these contracts that receive funds of $15,000 or more shall pay their affiliated employees no less than the living wage; provided, that this receipt of funds is from the contract funds received by the recipient from the District government. All subcontractors of recipients of government assistance shall pay their affiliated employees the living wage if the subcontractor receives $50,000 or more from a recipient; provided, that this receipt of funds is from government assistance received by the recipient from the District of Columbia.

(b) The living wage shall be paid to employees of the District government commencing March 1, 2006; provided, that the wage of any such employee established under an existing collective bargaining agreement or by the recipients of a federal law or grant shall continue as long as that agreement, law, or grant remains in effect.

(c) The Department of Employment Services shall adjust this rate for the previous calendar year, on an annual basis by the annual average increase, if any, in the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers in the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States Department of Labor up to 3%. This adjustment shall begin the 1st of January occurring at least one year following June 8, 2006. The Department shall calculate the adjustment to the nearest multiple of $.05 and shall publish the adjusted rate not later than March 1 of each year. Any annual adjustment in excess of 3% shall be approved by the Mayor.

(d) The Mayor shall publish any adjustment to the living wage rate in the District of Columbia Register no later than 45 days after the rate is adjusted.

(e) Repealed.

(f) Notwithstanding the requirements of subsections (a), (b), and (c) of this section, at no time shall the living wage be less than the minimum wage established pursuant to § 32-1003.


(June 8, 2006, D.C. Law 16-118, § 103, 53 DCR 2602; Mar. 25, 2009, D.C. Law 17-353, § 318(a), 56 DCR 1117; Aug. 19, 2016, D.C. Law 21-144, § 3(a), 63 DCR 9275.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 2-220.04, § 2-220.06, and § 2-220.07.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 17-353 repealed subsec. (e), which had read as follows: “(e) Funding for the implementation of this subchapter shall be subject to annual appropriations.”

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 3(a) of Fair Shot Minimum Wage Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-428, June 28, 2016, 63 DCR 9271).


§ 2–220.04. Contents of contract; notice to subcontractors.

(a) All contracts and government assistance subject to this subchapter shall include the requirements under §§ 2-220.03, 2-220.06, 2-220.07, and 2-220.08.

(b) Each recipient of a contract or government assistance shall notify each subcontractor subject to this subchapter of the requirements as provided under subsection (a) of this section. The notification shall be in writing.


(June 8, 2006, D.C. Law 16-118, § 104, 53 DCR 2602.)


§ 2–220.05. Exemptions.

The following types of contracts, government assistance, and employment shall be exempt from the requirement of this subchapter:

(1) Contracts or other agreements that are subject to higher wage level determinations required by federal law;

(2) Existing and future collective bargaining agreements, provided, that the future collective bargaining agreement results in the employee being paid no less than the established living wage;

(3) Contracts for electricity, telephone, water, sewer or other services delivered by a regulated utility;

(4) Contracts for services needed immediately to prevent or respond to a disaster or eminent [imminent] threat to public health or safety declared by the Mayor;

(5) Contracts or other agreements awarded to recipients that provide trainees with additional services including, but not limited to, case management and job readiness services; provided, that the trainees do not replace employees subject to this subchapter;

(6) An employee under 22 years of age employed during a school vacation period, or enrolled as a full-time student, as defined by the respective institution, who is in high school or at an accredited institution of higher education and who works less than 25 hours per week; provided, that he or she does not replace employees subject to this subchapter;

(7) Tenants or retail establishments that occupy property constructed or improved by receipt of government assistance from the District of Columbia; provided, that the tenant or retail establishment did not receive direct government assistance from the District;

(8) Employees of nonprofit organizations that employ not more than 50 individuals and qualify for taxation exemption pursuant to section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, approved August 16, 1954 (68A Stat. 163; 26 U.S. C. § 501(c)(3));

(9) Medicaid provider agreements for direct care services to Medicaid recipients; provided, that the direct care service is not provided through a home care agency, a community residence facility, or a group home for persons with intellectual disabilities, as those terms are defined in § 44-501; and

(10) Contracts or other agreements between managed care organizations and the Health Care Safety Net Administration or the Medicaid Assistance Administration to provide health services.


(June 8, 2006, D.C. Law 16-118, § 105, 53 DCR 2602; Mar. 2, 2007, D.C. Law 16-191, § 111, 53 DCR 6794; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-169, § 5(a), 59 DCR 5567.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 2-220.11.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-191, in par. (1), inserted “higher” preceding “wage level determinations”.

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-169 substituted “persons with intellectual disabilities” for “mentally retarded persons” in (9).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Living Wage Clarification Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-411, July 12, 2006, 53 DCR 5771).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Living Wage Clarification Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-530, December 4, 2006, 53 DCR 9836).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of the Living Wage Clarification Temporary Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Law 16-184, November 16, 2006, law notification 53 DCR 9651).

Editor's Notes

D.C. Law 16-294 purported to make the same amendment previously made by D.C. Law 16-191.

Section 35 of D.C. Law 19-169 provided that no provision of the act shall impair any right or obligation existing under law.


§ 2–220.06. Notice.

Each recipient and subcontractor of a recipient shall provide to each affiliated employee covered by this subchapter a fact sheet concerning the payment and enforcement requirements under §§ 2-220.03 and 2-220.08, and shall also post a notice concerning these requirements in a conspicuous site in its place of business. The Mayor shall provide the fact sheet and notice to each recipient which shall include:

(1) Notice of the living wage hourly rate;

(2) A summary of the requirements under §§ 2-220.03 and 2-220.07; and

(3) Information concerning the enforcement of this subchapter including the name, address, and telephone number of the individual or entity to which complaints of noncompliance should be made.


(June 8, 2006, D.C. Law 16-118, § 106, 53 DCR 2602.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 2-220.04.


§ 2–220.07. Records.

All recipients and subcontractors shall retain payroll records created and maintained in the regular course of business under District of Columbia law for a period of at least 3 years or the prevailing federal standard at the time the record is created, which shall be identified in rules issued pursuant to this subchapter, whichever is greater, from the payroll date for employees subject to § 2-220.03.


(June 8, 2006, D.C. Law 16-118, § 107, 53 DCR 2602; Apr. 7, 2017, D.C. Law 21-266, § 4(b), 64 DCR 2140.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 2-220.04 and § 2-220.06.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 4(b) 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 § 4(b) of Wage Theft Prevention Clarification and Overtime Fairness Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-583, Dec. 21, 2016, 63 DCR 16031).

Editor's Notes

Section 5 of D.C. Law 21-266 provided that all rules, forms, and regulations issued pursuant to the Wage Theft Prevention Amendment Act of 2014, effective February 26, 2015 (D.C. Law 20-157; 61 DCR 10157), and any rules, forms, and regulations issued pursuant to any like succeeding emergency and temporary acts, includingthe Wage Theft Prevention Clarification Temporary Amendment Act of 2016, effective April 6, 2016 (D.C. Law 21-101; 63 DCR 2220), and the Wage Theft Prevention Correction and Clarification Temporary Amendment Act of 2016, effective November 30, 2016 (D.C. Law 21-170; 63 DCR 12600), shall continue in effect according to their terms until lawfully amended, repealed, or superseded.


§ 2–220.08. Enforcement.

The payment of wages, enforcement of non-payment, and penalties and remedies for non-payment required under this subchapter shall be consistent with and subject to the provisions of Chapter 13 of Title 32. Failure to pay wages in conformance with this subchapter shall constitute unpaid wages and shall subject the violator to all procedures, liquidated damages and penalties, and any other remedies or relief applicable under Chapter 13 of Title 32 [§ 32-1301 et seq.].


(June 8, 2006, D.C. Law 16-118, § 108, 53 DCR 2602; Dec. 24, 2013, D.C. Law 20-61, § 2064, 60 DCR 12472.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 2-220.04 and § 2-220.06.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 20-61 substituted “wages, enforcement of non-payment, and penalties and remedies for non-payment required” for “wages required”; and added the last sentence.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2064 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 § 2064 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).

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.


§ 2–220.09. Waiver.

The Mayor may exempt a recipient from the requirements of this subchapter, subject to approval by the Council. Any entity requesting a waiver shall be required to demonstrate that the provisions of this subchapter will pose a significant financial hardship on the recipient that will result in the layoff of a substantial number of employees, substantial downsizing, or the inability to meet payroll. All requests for waivers shall be written and state the rationale for the request. Any waiver granted by the Mayor shall be subject to Council review and approval, by act.


(June 8, 2006, D.C. Law 16-118, § 109, 53 DCR 2602.)


§ 2–220.10. Rules.

The Mayor shall issue rules to implement the provisions of this subchapter.


(June 8, 2006, D.C. Law 16-118, § 110, 53 DCR 2602.)


§ 2–220.11. Applicability.

(a) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, the requirements of this subchapter shall apply to contracts and agreements for government assistance (“agreement”) entered into after June 8, 2006, and shall not apply to any existing agreement entered into prior to that date. Where an agreement is renewed or extended after that date, that renewal or extension shall be deemed a new agreement and shall trigger coverage under this subchapter if the terms of the renewed or extended agreement otherwise meet the requirements for coverage under this subchapter.

(b) Repealed.

(c) The minimum wage required by § 32-1003, shall apply to an agreement entered into, renewed, or extended on or after August 19, 2016; provided, that the living wage is lower than the minimum wage required by § 32-1003.


(June 8, 2006, D.C. Law 16-118, § 111, 53 DCR 2602; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-169, § 5(b), 59 DCR 5567; Aug. 19, 2016, D.C. Law 21-144, § 3(b), 63 DCR 9275.)

Effect of Amendments

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-169 substituted “persons with intellectual disabilities” for “mentally retarded persons” in (b).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 3(b) of Fair Shot Minimum Wage Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-428, June 28, 2016, 63 DCR 9271).

Editor's Notes

Section 35 of D.C. Law 19-169 provided that no provision of the act shall impair any right or obligation existing under law.