On Jan. 15, 2014, Mayor Vincent Gray and Council Chairman, Phil Mendelson backed by the DC City Council signed the bill that will raise the minimum wage to $11.50 an hour and give workers expanded access to paid sick days. Starting on July 1st, 2014, the minimum wage will go up to $9.50.
While these are some of the strongest paid sick leave and minimum wage laws in the country, now we have to take one final step if we want workers to actually gain their new employment rights.
Because of DC’s unique budget rules, important parts of the new laws are on pause until the small cost of implementing them is funded. The funding will pay for new staff members to enforce the laws and for a public education campaign to be sure businesses and workers know about them. But most importantly: until funding is allocated, restaurant workers will not have the right to paid sick days, businesses will be able to make other workers work for a whole year before earning any paid sick time, restaurants won’t have to certify that they are properly paying their tipped employees, and the new retaliation protections and enforcement measures will also be on pause.
Take Action! Please let Mayor Gray and the DC Council know that we’re grateful for their support on paid sick days and the minimum wage, but that the time is now to fund the laws and make sure D.C. workers are able to access their new rights! Click here to send a letter to Mayor Gray!