When Should D.C.'s Minimum Wage Rise and By How Much?

Raising the minimum wage in the District has a lot of popular support, but supporters say it’s unclear how much it should be raised or when a raise would go into effect.

D.C. Brau CEO Brandon Skall isn’t waiting. The Northeast brewery is turning out its beer and building its business, so Skall has decided to raise the minimum wage there from the city’s $8.25 per hour to $10.25.

“We really feel that all our employees work really hard and deserve to be paid a living wage for this city,” Skall said.

The D.C. Council angered some unions on Tuesday by killing a law requiring Walmart and big box stores to pay $12.50 per hour, but almost the entire council and Mayor Vincent Gray support increasing the current minimum wage.

“Lots of people believe that we should raise the minimum wage not for a few but for a lot,” Gray said. “That will be one of our legislative priorities.”

Ward 6 Council member and mayoral candidate Tommy Wells already has introduced a bill to raise the minimum wage. Others want to grant sick leave to part-time workers.

It could take months before the minimum wage issue is ready for a vote.

“We're in the political season,” Ward 2 Council member Jack Evans said. “There are people who probably want to vote on it immediately. It can have enormous ramifications on the city in our relationship with business in the city and the surrounding suburbs.”

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