This article addresses specific compliance issues around terminating employees in the District of Columbia. If you'd like to know how to terminate an employee within Justworks, please visit Terminating Employees.
Washington, D.C. law requires that employees be paid their owed wages on the next working day following termination, if the termination is involuntary. If an employee resigns, then the final pay must be paid out by the next regular payday or seven days, from the employee’s resignation date, whichever is earlier, and the final paycheck can be paid via direct deposit or otherwise.
This means that if an employer chooses to let an employee go, the employer is responsible for the employee’s receipt of final wages by the next working day. Generally, a physical check will be generated and presented to the employee upon termination, or made available for pickup the following day. This manual payment needs to be promptly reported to Justworks so that Justworks can report and remit payroll taxes as required.
It is permissible for the employer to mail the final check, as long as it is delivered to the employee’s last known address by the next working day. Issuance of final pay via direct deposit is allowed only if scheduled in advance, so that the employee receives the funds no later than the working day following termination. Given that the timing of the final wage deposit may occur prior to the employee receiving notice of termination, this approach may not be advisable.
Employers are also required to pay out any accrued, unused vacation to a terminating employee in the absence of an express agreement to the contrary. All accrued, unused vacation must be paid as wages and at the employee’s final rate of pay.
This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.