Legislative Update: Large Retailer Accountability Act of 2013 (LRAA)

Council Bill 20-62, the Large Retailer Accountability Act of 2013, was introduced 1/8/13 by Phil Mendelson and was co-sponsored by all Councilmembers, except Kenyan McDuffie.  The bill was initially referred to the Council Committee on Business, Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (BCRA) for review, public hearing and markup.

The bill has been marked-up and approved by the BRCA on 5/31/13.  The bill is now pending in the Committee of the Whole (COW) where it will be considered by the full Council during the Legislative Meeting, currently scheduled for Tuesday, June 18, 2013.

Key provisions of the LRAA

  • A large retailer is defined as any business in the District of Columbia, excluding franchisees, which parent company makes over $1 billion in revenue.  There is no store size (square footage) requirement.
  • The living wage of $12.50 per hour must be provided by the large retailer at an hourly compensation package, including fringe benefits, of no less than the living wage.
  • The living wage may be increased in proportion to the increase during the proceeding twelve (12) months, if any, in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for All Urban Consumers in the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area.
  • The living wage requirement only applies to large retailers that are not currently operating in the District at the time the law becomes effective.  This provision will change to require existing retailers in the District to comply with the living wage within four (4) years.
  • The living wage requirement is waived if a collective bargaining agreement is in place.
  • The legislation requires the courts to reform the language of the bill if it, or some part of it, is found contrary to law.  This is an unusual grant of power to the courts where the issue is the language of a legislative measure and is a delegation of legislative power to the courts.
  • The First Source requirement included in the original version of the bill has been removed.
  • The applicability of the living wage requirement to vendors and subcontractors of large retailers included in the original version of the bill has been removed.
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