The City Council of the District of Columbia, on Dec. 17, 2013 unanimously approved the Minimum Wage Amendment Act of 2013, B 20-0459, which would increase the district’s minimum hourly wage in three steps to $11.50 by July 1, 2016, up from the current $8.25 per hour. The bill was sent to the desk of Mayor Vincent Gray.
The wage hike comes with a history, starting with the Council’s 2013 bid to require all large retailers within the city limits to pay a minimum wage of $12.50. Gray vetoed that bill in September 2013. In response, lawmakers enacted the current legislation. If Gray were to veto this proposal, council support would reportedly be strong enough to override the veto.
According to the Washington Post, the legislation results from collaboration among lawmakers in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, which approved similar measures in November 2013. The three minimum wage hikes create a contiguous region of 2.5 million residents and a minimum wage higher than any of the 50 states.
Diane Cadrain is an attorney who has been writing about employment law issues for more than 20 years.