By Jaime L. Novikoff © Littler Mendelson
On Sept. 12, 2013, District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Grey vetoed the "Large Retailer Accountability Act of 2013," which was passed by the D.C. Council in an 8-5 vote on July 10, 2013. This bill would have required large retailers to pay their employees a 50 percent premium over the district’s minimum wage. Specifically, retailers with corporate sales of $1 billion or more and operating in spaces 75,000 square feet or larger would have been required to pay their employees no less than $12.50 an hour, as opposed to the D.C. minimum wage of $8.25 per hour. The bill included an exception for employers who collectively bargain with their employees. Current employers would have had four years to come into compliance.
In vetoing the bill, Mayor Grey stated that, rather than improve employment opportunities or wages for the D.C. workforce, the bill would "result in significant harm to the residents and areas of the District most in need of jobs, economic development, and new amenities." Although the D.C. Council has the ability to override Mayor Grey’s veto, it needs nine votes to do so, making an override unlikely.
Jaime L. Novikoff is an attorney in the Washington, D.C. office of Littler Mendelson. Republished with permission. © 2013 Littler Mendelson. All rights reserved.