Washington Post’s Petula Dvorak Profiles Injured Worker Who Lost Her Job and Is Now Homeless

A recent column by Petula Dvorak in the Washington Post sheds light on the unfortunate reality that funding cuts for homeless shelters in the District are leaving many out in the cold. Specifically, the article gives voice to a woman and her two-year-old child who worry on a nightly basis about where they will be able to sleep.

Homelessness would be devastating enough, but joblessness and illness must also be added to the list of this woman’s struggles. She lost her job at a local charter school due to nerve damage, and has since dealt with the ramifications in all aspects of her life.

Far too many former government employees have fallen into poverty because injured workers are not adequately protected when they are injured on the job.

EJC’s clinic helps dozens of people like the woman featured in this Washington Post story each year. We help them get workers’ compensation for their injuries and defend their rights to medical leave and accommodation for disabilities on the job.

But through this work, we have learned that the workers’ compensation system for public sector employees is broken. Poor administration and non-compliance has prevented workers from receiving money to pay for rent, medical care and other basic necessities.

That’s why we need to pass the Injured Government Workers Protection Act of 2012, which would restore fair procedural protections for workers like the woman profiled in this article, so they get the compensation to which they are entitled and don’t end up homeless.

If you volunteer at EJC’s clinic or read our email updates, you’ve probably heard about cases just like this one. Now’s your chance to help pass this bill and stand up for the rights of injured public workers. Please show your support by signing our joint petition with DC Jobs with Justice.

For more information, contact advocacy@dcejc.org.