In 2018, the District of Columbia enacted the Tipped Wage Workers Fairness Amendment Act (TWWF), preserving the use of the tip credit in the District, but imposing significant obligations on employers that employ tipped employees, such as mandatory sexual harassment prevention training and notice requirements. Certain aspects of the TWWF are only now being implemented.
Washington, D.C., employers with one or more workers who receive all or part of their wages in the form of tips are required to submit documentation and complete certifications to the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights (OHR).
The law sets out the following requirements.
Written Anti-Sexual Harassment Policy
A covered employer must have a written anti-sexual harassment policy that complies with the TWWF and clearly describes how to file a sexual harassment complaint. The employer must also submit its anti-sexual harassment policy to the OHR; distribute the policy to all employees, including instructions on how to file a sexual harassment complaint; and post the policy in a visible location where all employees have access, such as a breakroom.
OHR Worker Rights Fact Sheet
Covered employers must also post the official fact sheet created by the OHR regarding worker rights under the TWWF, including how to file a claim, in a prominent area that is accessible to all employees. The OHR provides a portal for employers to report that they have complied with the TWWF, and employers must certify via the OHR portal that they have posted the fact sheet.
Employers must provide all owners, managers, and employees with sexual harassment prevention training, either by using OHR’s training materials or using one of the certified trainers on a list provided by the OHR. Each newly hired employee must receive training—either online or in person—within ninety days of hire. This training must also be conducted every two years. While business owners and operators may participate in the training online or in person, all managers must have in-person training. The first training sessions for current employees, owners, and operators must be completed by December 31, 2022. Compliance with this requirement must be certified, and the employer’s anti-sexual harassment policy must be uploaded to the OHR portal by September 30, 2022.
Reporting Sexual Harassment Complaints
Employers must use the portal to report to OHR, on a yearly basis, the number of sexual harassment complaints employees have made to management, starting retroactively with 2020 and 2021, and also for 2022. The report must indicate whether an alleged harasser was a coworker, manager, owner, operator, or customer. The first reporting deadline for 2020 and 2021 is September 30, 2022. The deadline for 2022 is December 31, 2022. Thereafter, employers must submit reports annually regarding sexual harassment complaints for each calendar year by December 31.
Wage Payment and Collection Law Training
Managers, owners, and operators of covered employers must also conduct annual training on the District of Columbia Wage Payment and Collection Law.
Optional Annual Training
Employers must also offer employees the opportunity to attend annual training on the TWWF.
Ogletree Deakins’ Washington, D.C., office will continue to monitor developments with respect to the District of Columbia’s Tipped Wage Workers Fairness Amendment Act and will provide updates on the firm’s District of Columbia, Hospitality, and Wage and Hour blogs. Important information for employers is also available via the firm’s webinar and podcast programs.