Code of the District of Columbia

§ 32–1002. Definitions.

For the purposes of this subchapter:

(1) The term "Director" means the Director of the Department of Employment Services.

(1A) The term “employ” includes to suffer or permit to work.

(2) The term “employee” includes any individual employed by an employer, except that this term shall not include:

(A) Any individual who, without payment and without expectation of any gain, directly or indirectly, volunteers to engage in the activities of an educational, charitable, religious, or nonprofit organization;

(B) Any lay member elected or appointed to office within the discipline of any religious organization and engaged in religious functions; or

(C) Any individual employed as a casual babysitter, in or about the residence of the employer.

(3) The term “employer” includes the District of Columbia government, any individual, partnership, general contractor, subcontractor, association, corporation, business trust, or any person or group of persons acting directly or indirectly in the interest of an employer in relation to an employee, but shall not include the United States government.

(4) The term "gratuities" or "tips" means voluntary monetary contributions received by an employee from a guest, patron, or customer for services rendered.

(4A) The term "manager" means the person who oversees the employees in a food or beverage establishment, such as the servers, bussers, bartenders, back waiters, hosts, and hostesses, and the general operation of the establishment.

(5) The term “Mayor” means the Mayor of the District of Columbia or the Mayor’s designated agent or representative, including the Department of Employment Services.

(6) The term “occupation” means any occupation, service, trade, business, industry, or branch or group of occupations or industries, or employment or class of employment, in which employees are gainfully employed.

(6A) The term “office building” means any commercial property where the primary functions are the transaction of administrative, business, civic, or professional services, including properties where handling goods, wares, or merchandise, in limited quantities, is accessory to the primary occupancy or use. The term “office building” does not include libraries, museums, or universities.

(7) The term “regular rate” means all remuneration for employment paid to, or on behalf of, the employee, but shall not be considered to include the items set forth in the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended, 29 U.S.C. § 207(e)(1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), and (7). Extra compensation paid as described in § 207(e)(5), (6), and (7) shall be creditable toward overtime compensation.

(7A) The term “security officer” shall have the same meaning as provided in section 2100 of Title 17 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations.

(7B) The term "server" means an employee in a food or beverage establishment who takes orders, serves food or drinks, or both.

(7C) The term "tip-declaration form" means a printed form provided by an employer to an employee that shows the total tips received, including the amount of the tip outs or share of a tip pool that an individual employee provided to another employee or the amount of the tip outs or share of a tip pool that the employee received from another employee, and the calculation by which the amount was determined, such as total tips received and hours worked.

(7D) The term "tip out" means the amount or percentage of servers', bartenders', or other directly tipped employees' tips that an employee shares, due to a tip-sharing policy or tip-pooling agreement, with other employees such as bussers, bartenders, back waiters, hosts, and hostesses.

(7E) The term "tip pool" means the combining of tips from multiple employees into a single amount for the purpose of sharing tips among employees.

(7F) The term "tip-pool structure" means the calculation of the portion of a tip pool an employee will provide to or receive from the pool, as a percentage of total gratuities, sales, or other factor.

(7G) The term "tip-sharing policy" means the written calculation of any tip outs or tip-pool structures that employees, delineated by job position or other factor, will provide to or receive from other employees.

(8) The term “wage” means compensation due to an employee by reason of the employee’s employment, payable in legal tender of the United States or checks on banks convertible into cash on demand at full face value, including allowances as may be permitted by any regulation issued under §§ 32-1003 and 32-1006.

(9) The term “Washington metropolitan region” means the area consisting of the District of Columbia, Montgomery, and Prince George’s Counties in Maryland, Arlington and Fairfax Counties and the Cities of Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church in Virginia.

(10) The term “working time” means all the time the employee:

(A) Is required to be on the employer’s premises, on duty, or at a prescribed place;

(B) Is permitted to work;

(C) Is required to travel in connection with the business of the employer; or

(D) Waits on the employer’s premises for work.

Interpretations of what constitutes working time shall be made in accordance with Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 785, Hours Worked Under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended, except that references to interpretations of the Portal-to-Portal Act shall have no force and effect.


(Mar. 25, 1993, D.C. Law 9-248, § 3, 40 DCR 761; Mar. 20, 2008, D.C. Law 17-114, § 2(a), 55 DCR 1276; Feb. 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-157, § 3(a), 61 DCR 10157; Aug. 19, 2016, D.C. Law 21-144, § 2(a), 63 DCR 9275; Dec. 13, 2018, D.C. Law 22-196, § 6(a), 65 DCR 12049.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 36-220.1.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 17-114 added pars. (6A) and (7A).

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-157 added “general contractor, subcontractor” in (3).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of Fair Shot Minimum Wage Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-428, June 28, 2016, 63 DCR 9271).

For temporary (90 days) repeal of D.C. Law 20-157, § 7, see § 2(c) of the Wage Theft Prevention Correction and Clarification Emergency Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Act 20-544, Dec. 29, 2014, 62 DCR 243, 20 STAT 4458).

For temporary (90 days) repeal of D.C. Law 20-157, § 7, see § 4 of the Wage Theft Prevention Correction and Clarification Emergency Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-188, Oct. 27, 2015, 62 DCR 14224).

For temporary (90 days) repeal of D.C. Law 20-157, § 7, see § 4 of the Wage Theft Prevention Correction and Clarification Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-293, Jan. 27, 2016, 63 DCR 1215).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) repeal of D.C. Law 20-157, § 7, see § 4 of the Wage Theft Prevention Correction and Clarification Temporary Amendment Act of 2014 (D.C. Law 20-240, March 13, 2015, 62 DCR 1332).

For temporary (225 days) repeal of D.C. Law 20-157, § 7, see § 4 of the Wage Theft Prevention Correction and Clarification Temporary Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Law 21-57, Jan. 30, 2016, 62 DCR 15602).

References in Text

The “Portal-to-Portal Act”, referred to in (10), is 29 U.S.C. § 251 et seq.

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-157: Section 7 of D.C. Law 20-157 provided that the act shall apply as of October 1, 2014, and that the act shall apply to violations occurring after October 1, 2014.