Employers, are you compliant?

Employers in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia area have learned that employment laws are frequently changing. At least annually, employers of all sizes should review their handbook and policies to ensure compliance. Some recent updates include:

District of Columbia

  • Non-Compete Restrictions. DC’s non-compete ban went into effect October 1, 2022. DC employers may not enter into non-compete agreements with employees earning less than $150,000 and licensed physicians earning less than $250,000. This has changed since the first iteration of the law and permits more employers to continue to have non-compete provisions in their agreements.
  • Paid Family Leave. DC has developed its own short-term disability system, funded by employer payroll contributions, when an employee is out for a qualified reason. Employers are required to give the employee time off due to pregnancy, bonding with a new child, and caring for their own serious health condition or that of a family member. The employee can then apply to DC for benefits. Starting October 1, 2022, the time off has been increased to 2 weeks for pregnancy and 12 weeks for the other three reasons.
  • Sexual Harassment Prevention for Tipped Workplaces. For all DC employers who pay their workers tips and claim the tip credit, they must:
    • Provide mandatory sexual harassment training to their owners/operators and employees.
    • Submit their sexual harassment policy, which must meet certain requirements, to the D.C. Office of Human Rights (OHR).
    • Report the number of sexual harassment complaints made to management in 2020, 2021, 2022, and thereafter.


  • Harassment Claims. Making it easier for employees to bring claims against their employer, Maryland has expanded the definition of “harassment” to include:
    • submission to the conduct is made a term or condition of an individual’s employment, whether explicitly or implicitly;
    • submission to or rejection of the conduct is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting the individual; or
    • based on the totality of the circumstances, the conduct unreasonably creates a working environment that a reasonable person would perceive to be abusive or hostile.
  • Reasonable Accommodations for Applicants with Disabilities. Beginning October 1, 2022, all employers in Maryland are required to give reasonable accommodations for any applicants with disabilities. Previously only Maryland employers that had 15 or more employees were required to under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Maryland Saves Program. Covered employers in Maryland are either required to provide employees with a qualified retirement plan or an opportunity to participate in the state program, Maryland Saves. As an incentive to encourage participation or qualification for an exemption, Maryland may waive the employer’s $300 annual report fee.


  • Amendment to the Virginia Overtime Wage Act. Virginia amended the Virginia Overtime Wage Act to clarify that Virginia law will follow the federal Fair Labor Standards Act in most cases. This makes it easier for employers to understand wage payment rules.
  • Employee Leave to Attend Eviction Proceedings. Virginia employers may not take any adverse action towards an employee that takes leave to attend eviction proceedings.
  • Religious Discrimination. New amendments to the Virginia Human Rights Act expands the definition of “religion” in anti-discrimination protections for public accommodations, employment and housing. Religion includes both inward belief and any outward expression of religious faith, including adherence to religious dressing and grooming practices and the carrying or display of religious items or symbols.
  • Seizure Poster Requirement. Virginia employers with 25 or more employees must now physically display this poster on seizure first aid in a prominent location in their workplace. 

Now is a great time to audit your employment policies and practices to ensure compliance before the new year. Our attorneys are here to help.

Natasha M. Nazareth, Esq.
Ginny Cascio Bonifacino, Esq.