District of Columbia (DC) Salaried Employees Laws

January 29th 2024

In the District of Columbia, salaried employees are defined as individuals who receive predetermined fixed compensation regularly, such as weekly or less frequently.

The District of Columbia has established laws and regulations that address the rights and duties of both salaried employees and employers.

This article presents an overview of these regulations, encompassing topics like payment processes, break and leave privileges, and the differentiation between exempt and non-exempt employees.

This article covers:


Payment of Wages for Salaried Employees in District of Columbia (DC)

According to Washington DC regulations, employers must adhere to a legal obligation to offer their employees regular paychecks twice a month. This entails that there is a payroll period every two weeks. Furthermore, if an employee works a split shift, the employer is obligated to provide an additional hour of compensation for each day of that shift.

To ensure precise and consistent payments are made on time, employers frequently turn to the practice of monitoring payroll hours and establishing systems for managing payment schedules and approvals.

Salaried Employees Eligibility for Overtime for District of Columbia (DC)

Salaried employees are not immediately considered not eligible for overtime just because they earn a set wage. Certain employees can receive overtime, while others may be exempt from overtime based on various factors beyond just being paid a salary.

In the District of Columbia, employees who work over 40 hours in a week are generally entitled to receive overtime pay. Nonetheless, not all job roles are eligible for overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations.

It’s important to highlight that while salaried employees typically don’t have to keep detailed records of their work hours, situations like calculating overtime can benefit from tracking overtime hours. Timesheet templates can also be used to guarantee accurate recording of overtime hours, and specialized overtime compliance software ensures compliance with labor laws.

There are three criteria that determine whether an individual is considered exempt, the employee receives a certain minimum weekly salary, the employee is paid on a salary basis, and the employee performs job duties that are classified as exempt.

Certain types of occupations, particularly in the agricultural sector, are exempt from the requirement of employers to provide overtime pay. Additionally, certain professions such as truck drivers are governed by different sets of laws and regulations.

Exceptions to Overtime Exemptions for District of Columbia (DC) Salaried Employees

White Collar employees, including professionals, administrators, executives, and outside salespeople, who earn a minimum of $684 per week, are not obligated to receive a 1.5 times overtime pay rate for working beyond 40 hours.

Furthermore, beyond the exemptions stipulated by federal regulations, there are specific professions within the state that are governed by overtime limitations. Here is a comprehensive list of these professions:

  • US government employees
  • Airline employees
  • Commissioned employees
  • Railroad employees
  • Automobile dealership employees
  • Newspaper delivery employees
  • Babysitters
  • Volunteers
  • Companions for the aged or infirm
  • Lay members of religious organizations
  • Domestic workers
  • Seamen

Learn more in detail about District of Columbia Overtime Laws.

Violation of Salaried Employees Wages Payment in District of Columbia (DC)

If an employee is denied wages in violation of the wage payment law in the District of Columbia, they might be eligible to receive the unpaid wages along with liquidated damages. These damages can be either ten percent (10%) of the unpaid wages for each working day after the due date, or three times the unpaid wages, whichever is lesser. Claims related to the Wage Payment Collection Act are subject to a statute of limitations of three years.

Additionally, workers who are not fairly remunerated for their efforts have the option and should consider lodging an official grievance. In such instances, employers might be obligated to reimburse up to four times the unpaid wages. Furthermore, if the complaint is substantiated, employers could also be responsible for covering attorney fees and any other pertinent expenses associated with the case.

Male and Female Salaried Employees in District of Columbia (DC)

Although District of Columbia does not have equal pay law, under the employment discrimination law (D.C. Code Ann. § 2-1402) and according to District of Columbia Human Rights Act (DCHRA) it is unlawful to discriminate against employees, wholly or partially, based on the actual or perceived: sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, familial status, family responsibilities, race, color, religion, national origin, disability, matriculation, political affiliation, source of income, status as a victim of an intrafamily offense, place of residence or business, or homeless status of any individual.

Federally, the Equal Pay Act (EPA) is a statute that prevents wage inequality due to gender. This amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) offers added safeguards for employees regarding wages and working hours.

Leave Entitlements for Salaried Employees in District of Columbia (DC)

In the District of Columbia, employers are legally obligated to provide paid sick leave, with the amount varying based on company size. For businesses with up to 24 employees, employees must receive 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 87 hours worked. For companies with 25 to 99 employees, the rate is 1 hour for every 43 hours worked, and for those with 100 or more employees, it’s 1 hour for every 37 hours worked. Additionally, DC recognizes April 16th as Emancipation Day, entitling employees to unpaid leave if requested at least 10 days in advance, while exceptions can be made to avoid operational disruptions. Employers must also allow employees summoned for jury duty to be absent without facing any negative consequences.

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) safeguards military employees’ jobs during duty, and parents, guardians, and relatives in DC can access up to 24 hours of leave annually to attend school-related events for their dependents, with compensation determined by employers. The Universal Paid Leave Emergency Amendment Act introduces new provisions for prenatal leave, enabling eligible employees to take 2 weeks of paid leave for reasons like required bed rest and medical appointments, and claims starting from September 26, 2021, provide 6 weeks of job-protected prenatal leave.

Break Entitlements for Salaried Employees in District of Columbia (DC)

In the District of Columbia, employers are not legally required to furnish rest or meal breaks to their employees. This is because there is no dedicated law governing breaks, thus federal guidelines step in to address this matter.

Nevertheless, numerous employers opt to provide these breaks voluntarily. In cases where breaks are provided, short rest intervals of up to 20 minutes are typically compensated. However, meal breaks lasting at least 30 minutes are usually unpaid. An important exemption applies to nursing mothers, who have the right to take lactation breaks.

Deductions from Exempt Employees’ Salary in District of Columbia (DC)

Employers in District of Columbia are prohibited from deducting anything other than income taxes and payments mandated by a court order from an employee’s overall salary.

Court-ordered payments encompass alimony, child support, and debts to third parties. For any other deduction types, employees must provide their voluntary authorization.

Termination of Employment for Salaried Employees in District of Columbia (DC)

Similar to numerous states in the US, the District of Columbia also follows the “employment-at-will” principle. This signifies that employees can quit their job without legal repercussions, and employers possess the right to terminate employees at any moment and for any reason.

In the District of Columbia, employers are obligated to provide departing employees with their final paycheck, encompassing both wages and benefits. This final payment should be furnished by the next business day following the termination, except in situations where the employee was involved in financial matters, in which case employers have up to 4 working days to complete the payment.

Learn more about District of Columbia Labor Laws through our detailed guide.

Important Cautionary Note

When making this guide we have tried to make it accurate but we do not give any guarantee that the information provided is correct or up-to-date. We therefore strongly advise you seek advice from qualified professionals before acting on any information provided in this guide. We do not accept any liability for any damages or risks incurred for use of this guide.