Late last year we wrote about an expected employment law change in Washington, D.C., on the issue of minimum wage. This month, the mayor finally signed a bill into law that raises the minimum wage in the District of Columbia from the federally mandated $7.25 an hour to $11.50 per hour. This new rate is one of the highest in the country. Lawmakers have said that they raised it in order to help provide a living wage for everyone working in our nation’s capital, which has a very high cost of living compared with other parts of the country.
The bill was somewhat controversial when it was first introduced and there were some doubts about whether it would be successfully passed and signed into law. There was also some deliberation about the amount that the minimum wage could be increased without burdening businesses in the area.
However, when the law was finally signed earlier this month the mayor indicated no concerns and said he was looking forward to the measure being fully enacted.
The results of this wage increase will likely be looked at by other cities and states around the country that are considering similar actions and a positive impact on the community could even lead to a federal minimum wage increase. At this point is it too soon to tell what the results will be on those who work for an hourly wage in Washington, D.C., but many are optimistic that it will help improve the quality of life.
Source: Washington Post, “D.C. minimum wage hike is signed into law,” Mike Debonis, Jan. 15, 2014.