Code of the District of Columbia

§ 32–509. Administrative enforcement procedure; relief.

(a) The Mayor shall provide an administrative procedure pursuant to which a person claimed to be aggrieved under this chapter may file a complaint against an employer alleged to have violated this chapter. A complaint shall be filed within 1 year of the occurrence or discovery of the alleged violation of this chapter.

(b) The administrative procedure shall include, but not be limited to:

(1) An investigation of the complaint and an attempt to resolve the complaint by conference, conciliation, or persuasion;

(2) If the complaint is not resolved, a determination on the existence of probable cause to believe a violation of this chapter has occurred;

(3) If there is a determination that probable cause exists, the issuance and service of a written notice and a copy of the complaint to the employer alleged to have committed the violation that requires the employer to answer the charges of the complaint at a formal hearing;

(4) A hearing conducted in accordance with procedures that the Mayor shall promulgate pursuant to subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2;

(5) A decision and order accompanied by findings of fact and conclusions of law;

(6) If there is a determination that an employer committed a violation of this chapter, the issuance of an order that requires the employer to pay the employee damages in an amount equal to:

(A) Any wages, salary, employment benefits, or other compensation denied or lost to the employee due to the violation plus interest on the amount calculated at the rate prescribed in § 28-3302(b) or (c); and

(B) An amount equal to the greater of:

(i) The amount determined under subparagraph (A) of this paragraph; or

(ii) Consequential damages not to exceed an amount equal to 3 times the amount determined under subparagraph (A) of this paragraph plus any medical expenses not covered by the health insurance of the employee; or

(C) A reduction in damages, within the discretion of the trier of fact, for an employer who violates this chapter and proves that the violation occurred in good faith and that the employer had reasonable grounds to believe that the employer’s action or omission was not in violation of this chapter; and

(7) A provision that authorizes the award of costs and reasonable attorney’s fees to the prevailing party in addition to other relief awarded under this chapter.

(c) Any person who is adversely affected or aggrieved by an order or decision issued pursuant to subsection (b) of this section is entitled to judicial review of the order or decision in accordance with § 2-510, upon filing a written petition for review in the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

(d)(1) If the Mayor determines that the employer has not complied with an order after 20 days following service of the order, the Mayor shall certify the matter to the Corporation Counsel and to any other agency as may be appropriate for enforcement.

(2) The Corporation Counsel shall institute, in the name of the District, a civil proceeding that may include seeking injunctive relief, as is necessary to obtain complete compliance with the order.

(3) An enforcement action shall not be instituted pending judicial review as provided in subsection (c) of this section.

(e) The entire administrative enforcement procedure outlined in subsections (a) and (b) of this section, including the formal hearing, shall take no longer than 150 days to complete from the date the complaint is filed. If the Mayor fails to make a reasonable effort to comply with the deadline requirements of the administrative enforcement provisions prescribed by this subsection and the rules promulgated by the Mayor, the person who initiated the administrative enforcement procedure against the employer may file a civil action against the employer pursuant to § 32-510.