District of Columbia’s current minimum wage rate is $15.20.
For more information on District of Columbia’s minimum wage laws, visit our District of Columbia Minimum Wage Laws page, which includes topics such as minimum wage, tip minimum wage, tip sharing and pooling, and subminimum wages.
Related topics covered on other pages include:
District of Columbia labor laws require employers to pay employees 1½ times their regular rate for all hours worked in a workweek in excess of forty (40) hours. D.C. Code 32-1003. Some exceptions apply. An employer must also comply with federal overtime laws. See FLSA. Federal law will apply in cases where it benefits employees more, otherwise, District of Columbia law applies.
Under certain circumstances, employers in DC may be required to pay residents wage rates established by the federal prevailing wage rates and rules. The prevailing wage rates may be different from the city’s standard minimum wage rates. Employees may be eligible for prevailing wages if they work on federal or government-funded construction projects or perform certain federal government services. See the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts, McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act (SCA), and Walsh-Healey Public Contracts Act (PCA) for more information about prevailing wages.
Meals and Breaks
District of Columbia labor laws do not have any meal or break requirements for employers, thus the federal rules apply. The federal rule does not require an employer to provide either a meal (lunch) period or breaks. However, if an employer chooses to do so, breaks, usually of the type lasting less than twenty (20) minutes, must be paid. Meal or lunch periods (usually thirty (30) minutes or more) do not need to be paid, so long as the employee is free to do as they wish during the meal or lunch period. DOL: Breaks and Meal Periods.
Nursing Mother Breaks
The District of Columbia labor laws require employers to provide employees who are nursing mothers with reasonable breaks times to express breast milk unless doing so would create an undue hardship on the operations of the employer. Employers may request employees who are nursing to take breaks to express milk when possible at the same time as other paid break periods. Employers are not required to pay employees for breaks to express milk if the breaks do not coincide with other paid breaks.
Employers must make reasonable efforts to provide nursing mother employees with private locations where nursing mothers may express breast milk. The locations must be in close proximity to the nursing mothers’ work areas. Toilet stalls and bathrooms do not meet the minimum standards for the nursing mothers location.
Reasonable efforts to provide the minimum requirements for nursing mother locations may not impose an undue hardship on the employer’s business. Whether an employer will suffer an undue hardship involves how significant the difficulty or expense of meeting the legal standard for nursing mother breaks will be related to such factors as:
- the size of the business
- its financial resources
- the nature and structure of its operation
Information about District of Columbia vacation leave laws may now be found on our District of Columbia Leave Laws page.
Information about District of Columbia sick leave laws may now be found on our District of Columbia Leave Laws page.
Information about District of Columbia holiday leave laws may now be found on our District of Columbia Leave Laws page.
Jury Duty Leave
Information about District of Columbia jury duty leave laws may now be found on our District of Columbia Leave Laws page.
Information about District of Columbia voting leave laws may now be found on our District of Columbia Leave Laws page.
District of Columbia labor laws do not have any laws requiring an employer to pay severance pay to an employee. If an employer chooses to provide severance benefits, it must comply with the terms of its established policy or employment contract.
Under certain circumstances, NY residents may be eligible for unemployment benefits while they search for another job. You are required to certify that you are unemployed on a weekly basis to receive these benefits. See DC State Unemployment Benefits.