We recently warned that the D.C. Department of Employment Services (DOES) had undertaken a program, called the "zip code project," of unannounced inspections of nonpublic portions of workplaces for compliance with various DC employment laws. We thought such searches violated the law, and on behalf of the D.C. Chamber of Commerce we engaged the DOES in a dialogue in the hope of stopping the program. As part of that dialogue, we provided an extensive legal memorandum outlining why the zip code project violated the Fourth Amendment's prohibition against unreasonable searches.
Mission accomplished. On Wednesday, the DOES informed us that it has terminated the zip code project. This is good, and this is right.
The zip code project may be gone, but the DC Wage Theft Prevention Act and its related laws remain. DC employers should continue to review their practices to ensure compliance with the notice requirements of the new wage theft law and the various related wage-hour requirements imposed by the District of Columbia.