Code of the District of Columbia

§ 32–1303. Payment of wages upon discharge or resignation of employee and upon suspension of work; employer’s liability for failure to make such payment.

Unless otherwise specified in a collective agreement between an employer and a bona fide union representing his employees:

(1) Whenever an employer discharges an employee, the employer shall pay the employee’s wages earned not later than the working day following such discharge; provided, however, that in the instance of an employee who is responsible for monies belonging to the employer, the employer shall be allowed a period of 4 days from the date of discharge or resignation for the determination of the accuracy of the employee’s accounts, at the end of which time all wages earned by the employee shall be paid.

(2) Whenever an employee (not having a written contract of employment for a period in excess of 30 days) quits or resigns, the employer shall pay the employee’s wages due upon the next regular payday or within 7 days from the date of quitting or resigning, whichever is earlier.

(3) When work of an employee is suspended as a result of a labor dispute, the employer shall pay to such employee not later than the next regular payday, designated under § 32-1302, wages earned at the time of suspension.

(4) If an employer fails to pay an employee wages earned as required under paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of this section, such employer shall pay, or be additionally liable to, the employee, as liquidated damages, 10 per centum of the unpaid wages for each working day during which such failure shall continue after the day upon which payment is hereunder required, or an amount equal to treble the unpaid wages, whichever is smaller.

(5) A subcontractor, including any intermediate subcontractor, and the general contractor shall be jointly and severally liable to the subcontractor's employees for the subcontractor's violations of this chapter, the Living Wage Act, and the Sick and Safe Leave Act. Except as otherwise provided in a contract between the subcontractor and the general contractor, the subcontractor shall indemnify the general contractor for any wages, damages, interest, penalties, or attorneys' fees owed as a result of the subcontractor's violations of this chapter, the Living Wage Act, and the Sick and Safe Leave Act, unless those violations were due to the lack of prompt payment in accordance with the terms of the contract between the general contractor and the subcontractor.

(6) When a temporary staffing firm employs an employee who performs work on behalf of or to the benefit of another employer pursuant to a temporary staffing arrangement or contract for services, both the temporary staffing firm and the employer shall be jointly and severally liable for violations of this chapter, the Living Wage Act, and the Sick and Safe Leave Act to the employee and to the District. The District, the employee, or the employee’s representative shall notify the temporary staffing firm and employer of the alleged violations at least 30 days before filing a claim for these violations. Except as otherwise provided in a contract between the temporary staffing firm and its client, the temporary staffing firm shall indemnify its client for any wages, damages, interest, penalties, or attorneys' fees owed as a result of the temporary staffing firm's violations of this chapter, the Living Wage Act, and the Sick and Safe Leave Act.


(Aug. 3, 1956, 70 Stat. 976, ch. 924, § 3; Dec. 24, 2013, D.C. Law 20-61, § 2062(b), 60 DCR 12472; Feb. 26, 2015, D.C. Law 20-157, § 2(b), 61 DCR 10157; Apr. 7, 2017, D.C. Law 21-266, § 2(c), 64 DCR 2140.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 36-103.

1973 Ed., § 36-603.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 32-1304.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 20-61 substituted “equal to treble the unpaid wages” for “equal to the unpaid wages” in (4).

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-157 deleted “provided, however, that for the purpose of such liquidated damages such failure shall not be deemed to continue after the date of the filing of a petition in bankruptcy with respect to the employer if he thereafter shall have been adjudicated bankrupt upon such petition” from the end of (4); and added (5) and (6).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(c) of Wage Theft Prevention Clarification and Overtime Fairness Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-33, Mar. 28, 2017, 64 DCR 3089).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(c) of Wage Theft Prevention Clarification and Overtime Fairness Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-583, Dec. 21, 2016, 63 DCR 16031).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of Wage Theft Prevention Correction and Clarification Second Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-512, Oct. 27, 2016, 63 DCR 13577).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of Wage Theft Prevention Correction and Clarification Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-480, July 21, 2016, 63 DCR 10193).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2062(b) of the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-130, July 30, 2013, 60 DCR 11384, 20 DCSTAT 1827).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2062(b) of the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-204, October 17, 2013, 60 DCR 15341, 20 DCSTAT 2311).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a)(1) 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 § 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) amendment of section, see § 2(a) 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 Emergency Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Act 21-188, Oct. 27, 2015, 62 DCR 14224).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) 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).

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) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of Wage Theft Prevention Correction and Clarification Temporary Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Law 21-170, Nov. 30, 2016, 63 DCR 12600).

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) 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 2014 (D.C. Law 20-240, March 13, 2015, 62 DCR 1332).

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(a) of the Wage Theft Prevention Correction and Clarification Temporary Amendment Act of 2015 (D.C. Law 21-57, Jan. 30, 2016, 62 DCR 15602).

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).

Short Title

Section 2061 of D.C. Law 20-61 provided that Subtitle G of Title II of the act may be cited as the “Wage Theft Prevention Amendment Act of 2013”.

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-61: Section 11001 of D.C. Law 20-61 provided that, except as otherwise provided, the act shall apply as of October 1, 2013.

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.