The first step of D.C.'s minimum wage reform went into effect Tuesday, giving minimum wage workers in the District something to look forward to.
The minimum wage in the District has now increased from $8.25 per hour to $9.50 per hour for all workers, regardless of the size of their employer.
The raise is part of the Minimum Wage Amendment Act of 2013, which was signed into law in January after being unanimously passed by the Council.
Minimum wage will increase another dollar on both July 1, 2015 and July 1, 2016, capping at $11.50 per hour.
Beginning July 1, 2017, the District's minimum wage will increase annually according to inflation, as judged by the annual average increase in the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers in the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area for the preceding 12 months.
That's for everyone except restaurant employees, who will see different changes.
The base minimum wage for tipped employees will remain at $2.77 per hour, but if the employee's hourly tip earnings (averaged weekly) added to the base minimum wage don't equal the District's full minimum wage, the employer must pay the difference.
Another change that restaurant workers should be aware of went into effect back in February, granting them access to paid sick leave earlier.
The Earned Sick and Safe Leave Amendment Act of 2013 amends the Accured Sick and Safe Leave Act of 2008, and expands the definition of employees protected by the act to include tipped workers. Under the act, employees will have to work 90 days, down from one year, to earn paid sick leave.
For more information on the new minimum wage or earned sick leave, visit the D.C. Department of Employee Services website or call (202) 724-7000.