This is a preview. To continue reading, register for free access now. Register Now or Log in

Payment of Wages: District of Columbia

Payment of Wages requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Authors: Stuart R. Buttrick, Susan W. Kline and Tareen Zafrullah, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP


  • The term wages is specifically defined in the District of Columbia wage payment law. See Definition of Wages.
  • Employers in the District of Columbia may pay wages in cash, by check or by direct deposit to an employee's checking or savings account. See Wage Payment Methods.
  • Nonexempt employees must be paid at least twice a month, on regular paydays designated in advance. Exempt employees must be paid at least once per month. See Pay Frequency.
  • With an employee's consent, an employer is permitted to make various deductions from an employee's pay. See Permitted and Prohibited Wage Deductions.
  • Employees may file wage claims with the Department of Employment Services, Office of Wage-Hour, or in civil court. See Wage Disputes.
  • Employers of tipped employees (except hotels) are required to use a third-party payroll provider to prepare their payroll. Third-party payroll providers and hotel employers of tipped employees must submit quarterly reports online and certify that each employee has been paid at least the minimum wage, including tips. Tip information must be included on pay statements. Covered employers must provide certain employee trainings. See Tipped Wage Workers.
  • An employer must provide a pay statement to each employee with every wage payment. Each pay statement must include specific information. See Pay Statement Requirements.
  • Employers must provide written notice of specific employer and pay-related information to all employees when they are hired, and when any employee's information changes, under the District of Columbia Wage Theft Prevention Act. See Employee Notification Requirements.
  • The timing of final pay varies depending on whether an employee is terminated voluntarily or involuntarily. See Final Pay.
  • Wages that are unclaimed for one year are considered abandoned property. Employers are required to file an annual report of unclaimed wages with the state. Penalties are imposed for noncompliance. See Unclaimed Wages.