D.C. Implements Laws Mandating Workplace Training, Notices and Sexual Harassment Reporting

September 2, 2020

In 2018, the District of Columbia passed the Tipped Wage Workers Fairness Amendment Act to accomplish a number of goals, including the repeal of Initiative No. 77, a referendum that would have eliminated the tip credit system in D.C. The law conditioned implementation of several provisions on D.C. providing for adequate funding. Until now, the D.C. Council did not fund those provisions and, therefore, they were not enforceable.

On Aug. 31, 2020, D.C. breathed new life into those provisions by repealing the funding restriction with the passage of Act 23-407. These laws will now become effective after a 60-day period of congressional review.

Universal D.C. Laws Poster

The law requires the mayor (within 120 days from the effective date of the law) to create a poster that briefly summarizes the rights that D.C. employees possess under 11 different statutes. All employers must post the summary poster in a conspicuous place accessible to all employees, including in every break room and at every time clock. Employers displaying the summary poster will not also have to comply with the individualized posting requirements of: (1) the Living Wage Act, (2) the D.C. Human Rights Act, (3) the D.C. Family and Medical Leave Act, (4) the Parental Leave Act, (5) the Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act, (6) the Minimum Wage Act Revision Act, (7) the Building Service Employees Minimum Work Week Act, (8) the Protecting Pregnant Workers Fairness Act and (9) the D.C. Workers’ Compensation Act.

D.C. Laws Binder Updated Monthly

The law also requires the mayor to create a website clearly and concisely describing employee rights under various D.C. employment laws. In addition to the poster requirement described above, employers must print copies of the information posted on the website and compile it into a single source, such as a binder. Employers must place a copy of the compiled information at every location where the poster described above is posted. Employers are responsible for ensuring at least monthly that the information required to be printed and made available in the binder is up to date and identical to the information provided on the website described above. The D.C. government can assess a $100 fine for each day that an employer fails to comply with the poster and binder requirements.

Mandatory Workplace Training for Employers of Tipped Employees

The law requires the D.C. government to provide (or certify a list of providers who may provide) a sexual-harassment prevention training course for employees of businesses with tipped employees. Each employee must receive training no later than 90 days after hire, unless the employee participated in training within the preceding two years. Employees hired before the law becomes effective have two years from the effective date to attend training either in person or online. Managers, owners and business operators must attend training at least once every two years. While employees, owners and business operators may take the training either in person or online, managers must attend in-person training. Employers must submit a certification to the D.C. Office of Human Rights that each employee has completed the training, and must do so no later than 30 business days after completion of the training.

Sexual Harassment Reporting

The law requires that every employer of a tipped employee: (1) file with the Office of Human Rights a policy outlining how employees can report instances of sexual harassment to management and to the D.C. government; (2) distribute the employer’s sexual harassment policy to employees and post the policy in a conspicuous place accessible to all employees on the premises; (3) document instances of sexual harassment reported to management, including whether the reported harasser was a non-managerial employee, managerial employee, owner or operator; and (4) annually report to the D.C. Office of Human Rights the number of instances of sexual harassment reported to management and the total number of reported harassers who were non-managerial employees, managerial employees, owners or operators.

For more information about the Tipped Wage Workers Fairness Amendment Act or its soon-to-be implemented provisions, please contact the authors of this article or your McGuireWoods labor and employment contact.

McGuireWoods Develops Comprehensive Guide on D.C. Employment Statutes

McGuireWoods has developed a comprehensive online guide to help companies navigate the complex employment laws of Washington, D.C. The 100-page, fully annotated publication is designed to help human resources professionals, in-house counsel and small-business owners avoid pitfalls and obtain answers to common questions about the District’s workplace laws.