Code of the District of Columbia

§ 32–401. Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter the term:

(1) “District” means the District of Columbia.

(2) “Employer” means any individual or business which employs 1 or more individuals and which receives or seeks to receive the services of an employment agency or employer-paid personnel service for the purpose of obtaining employees or advice concerning employees.

(3) “Employer-paid personnel service” means any individual, partnership, association, corporation, contractor, or subcontractor in the District who, for a fee, procures, offers, or attempts to procure job-seekers for employers, or provides employment advice or counseling to employers or to other persons designated by employers, and who is compensated solely by employers and does not in any way hold any job-seeker liable for fees. Except for the purposes of § 32-402(a), § 32-406(e)(6), § 32-408, and § 32-414(a), the term “employer-paid personnel service” shall not mean an executive search firm which is paid solely by employers and which acts as a consultant to employers to identify, appraise, or recommend individuals for executive, managerial, or professional positions, and shall not mean an outplacement consulting firm which is paid solely by employers to provide employment advice to employees.

(4) “Employment agency” means any individual, partnership, association, corporation, contractor, or subcontractor in the District who, for a fee, procures, offers, or attempts to procure job-seekers for employers or employment for job-seekers, and whose fees are charged in whole or in part to the job-seekers contracting for those services.

(5) “Employment counseling service” means any individual, partnership, association, corporation, contractor, or subcontractor in the District who, for a fee, provides, offers, or implies the offer of counseling, evaluating, testing, marketing, or advising job-seekers concerning career decisions, or the procurement of employment; who does not directly procure or attempt to procure employment for job-seekers; and whose fees are charged in whole or in part to the job-seekers contracting for those services.

(6) “Employment counselor” means any placement manager, placement director, counselor, interviewer, or any other person employed by an employment agency, employment counseling service, or employer-paid personnel service who interviews, counsels, or advises job-seekers seeking or receiving the services of the employment agency, employment counseling service, or employer-paid personnel service. The term “employment counselor” shall not include employees of an employment agency, employment counseling service, or employer-paid personnel service who are primarily engaged in interviewing, counseling, or advising employers, or in research, management, or clerical operations.

(7) “Fee” means money or other valuable consideration required or received by an employment agency, employment counseling service, employer-paid personnel service, or job listing service in payment for its services.

(7A) “Gender identity or expression” shall have the same meaning as provided in § 2-1401.02(12A).

(8) “Job listing service” means any individual, partnership, association, corporation, contractor, or subcontractor in the District who, for a fee, provides to any purchaser a list of job openings, and who does not provide, offer, or imply the offer of any service related to employment, employment counseling, or the procurement of employment.

(9) “Job-seeker” means any individual who receives or seeks to receive the services of an employment agency, employment counseling service, or employer-paid personnel service for the purpose of obtaining or considering new employment.

(10) “Mayor” means the Mayor of the District of Columbia.


(Mar. 13, 1985, D.C. Law 5-136, § 2, 31 DCR 5727; June 25, 2008, D.C. Law 17-177, § 17(a), 55 DCR 3696; Mar. 25, 2009, D.C. Law 17-353, § 236(b), 56 DCR 1117.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 36-1001.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 17-177 added par. (7A).

D.C. Law 17-353 validated a previously made technical correction in par. (7A).