New Employment Laws Take Effect Across the D.C. Region

Last month, the WANADA Bulletin reported on a range of employment-related laws that took effect in Virginia on July 1, including new recourse options for workers who allege discrimination or wage theft. In addition to the report linked here, our advocacy partners at Charapp & Weiss have also created a presentation analyzing many of the major employment laws now in effect in Virginia.

Also as of last week, Maryland’s dealer processing charge cap is now up to $500, an increase from the previous $300 limit, and we have created a helpful guide on the purposes of the charge.

Some other important laws took effect across our region last Wednesday, as well. The minimum hourly wage is now $15 for non-tipped employees in the District of Columbia, irrespective of worker head count. In Montgomery County it is now $14 for workers at businesses with 51 or more employees. Employers with 11 to 50 workers must pay a minimum of $13.25 an hour, while businesses with 10 or fewer employees are required to pay at least $13.

Employees of D.C. businesses may now claim up to eight weeks of paid family leave, with a maximum benefit of $1,000 per week. Employers in the city have been paying a 0.62 percent payroll tax since July 1, 2019 to help fund this benefit.

In addition to the employment-focused laws that took effect in Virginia, the commonwealth’s gasoline tax is also being raised, from 17 cents to 21.2 cents per gallon. The gas tax will be increased to 26.2 cents per gallon on July 1, 2021. Also, some parts of the state, including Northern Virginia, have long been paying an extra 7.6 cent-per-gallon gas tax; that surcharge is now being expanded statewide.

Virginia’s vehicle registration fee is being reduced by $10, to $30.75 for a vehicle that weighs 4,000 pounds or less; this cost does not include a $2 emissions surcharge for Northern Virginia, which in this instance includes Stafford County. The sales tax rate in the Richmond metropolitan area is also being raised from 5.3 percent to 6 percent, which will align it with Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads’ sales tax rates.

In Maryland, the threshold for an unpaid-wages complaint to be subject to a state order demanding repayment has been raised from $3,000 to $5,000.

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