Pay Transparency Laws Continue to Grow: Washington, D.C. Enacts Wage Transparency Omnibus Amendment Act of 2023
Employers in Washington, D.C. will soon join employers in jurisdictions like Colorado, California, New York, and Washington in providing salary ranges to prospective employees. On January 12, 2023, Mayor Muriel Bowser signed the Wage Transparency Omnibus Amendment Act of 2023 (Bill 25-194). Beginning in June 2024, employers with at least one employee in the District of Columbia will be required to provide the minimum and maximum projected salary or hourly pay in all job listings and positions advertised. The range provided will need to show the lowest to highest salary or hourly pay that the employer believes at the time of posting it would pay for the position. Employers will also have to disclose to applicants any healthcare benefits they may receive before the first interview.
The Act also prohibits employers from selecting applicants based on their wage history, which is “information related to compensation an employee has received from other or previous employment.” This extends to prohibiting employers from requiring an applicant to disclose their wage history as an interview condition or to receive an offer of employment. Employers are also prohibited from inquiring about the applicant’s salary history from a prior employer.
Employers may not retaliate against employees who discuss “compensation,” or “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.
While the Act does not include a private right of action, the D.C. Attorney General may investigate possible violations and seek restitution (which may include fines and compensatory relief), if a violation is found.
Employers operating in the District of Columbia should carefully review their hiring needs for the second half of 2024, and update them to ensure salary ranges are correctly posted. Employers are also encouraged to review current employees’ compensation to determine any wage discrepancies that might create issues once wage ranges are made public in June 2024.
This issue is expected to grow as more states debate or will likely enact similar wage transparency laws. For example, Massachusetts is widely expected to pass a law in 2024 requiring employers with more than fifteen employees in the state to include a salary range for all job postings. This law would carry monetary penalties for non-compliance. Likewise, states like Maine, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia (among others) have considered or are currently considering legislation to require employers to disclose salary information or wage ranges on job postings.
For questions on the changing state of play for wage transparency laws, please reach out to Maynard Nexsen’s Labor and Employment team.
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