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DC City Council Passes Minimum Wage Bill

December 17, 2013

Today the Council of the District of Columbia passed bills increasing the minimum wage and broadening the coverage of the District’s mandatory paid sick leave law to include tipped workers.

How does this affect you?
The minimum wage will increase to $9.50 on July 1, 2014, $10.50 on July 1, 2015 and 11.50, July 1, 2016. On the paid sick leave revision, tipped workers who take mandatory paid leave must be paid for the missed shift at the overall minimum wage rate. Another change in the law allows all workers to access mandatory paid leave within 90 days of hiring, rather than the one year waiting time in the current law.

What we’re happy about.
We are pleased to report that RAMW, along with the considerable efforts of its board and members, was successful in convincing the Council that an increase in the tipped minimum wage, currently set at $2.77 an hour, is not warranted, as tipped workers in the District already make well in excess of the minimum wage.  To stress the value of your hard work and participation in this matter, we estimate that our combined efforts will save DC restaurants $11,960 per tipped worker, per year.

What we're still working on.

Chairman Mendelson recognizes that there may be some ambiguity in the language of the paid sick leave bill. RAMW will be working with the Chariman to clean up some of the language in the bill. We will keep you posted on this.

Other changes to come.
In response to concerns that servers and bartenders at some of the lower price point restaurants may not be making minimum wage, RAMW pointed to the very few complaints filed with the Department of Employment Services (“DOES”) as evidence this is simply not the case. Nonetheless, to assure that all workers, including tipped workers, receive the full minimum wage as required by law, RAMW worked with Council Members on requirements for quarterly reporting to DOES of the overall compensation of tipped workers.

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Washington DC