Testimony of Yvonne Johnson, DOES Budget Hearing
On Wednesday, May 1, 2013, Yvonne Johnson testified before the DC Council’s Committee on Workforce and Community Affairs about her experiences with wage theft and the Office of Wage-Hour, and asked the DC Council to hold the Office of Wage-Hour accountable for enforcing protections against wage theft. Watch Yvonne and learn what we need to do to fight wage theft. Whether or not you were able to attend, please email Marion Barry today to tell him you support these workers.
Click here for more pictures and a recap of the wage theft action.
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Below is the text of her testimony:
My name is Yvonne Johnson, and I am a resident of Ward 8. I worked as a special police officer for Code 3 Protective Service for six years. I am here to testify today because when I was not paid my correct wages, I submitted a claim to the Office of Wage-Hour, and they still have not helped me resolve these circumstances and would not help me collect liquidated damages.
Code 3 never listed my hours worked nor my hourly rate on my pay stub, only my total dollar amount. I was only paid for 7.5 hours per day for my shifts, even though I worked 8 hours per day without a lunch break, because there was no one to relieve us. They cut a half hour off of every shift.
On Friday, February 8, Code 3 did not pay me, even though it was my regular payday. Instead, they paid on Monday, February 11. They didn’t give any notice of nonpayment and wouldn’t answer their phones. As a result, I had no money to get to and from work the next two days. I was terminated immediately, but I had to wait until their next pay day, two weeks later, to get my final paycheck, even though DC law says that I should have gotten my final paycheck the next day.
Now I’m caught up with overdraft fees from my bank, due to the fact that I was not paid on time and my bills are on auto pay. I have fees both from my bank and from not being able to pay my rent on time.
I was referred to the Office of Wage-Hour, where I met with Mr. Black. They investigated and have Code 3 sending back my pay stubs and my time sheets. I called back and spoke to Director Pam Banks. She said that as far as she sees so far, they paid me. It’s my word against theirs, so I have to bring in my pay stubs to prove it. They told me that I had to file in small claims court to collect liquidated damages for the expenses I have experienced when I was not paid on time. I shouldn’t have to go through another process to file for my liquidated damages to cover the overdraft fees that I owe to my bank and other hardships I experienced.
It’s really frustrating for me and my family that not enough is being done about these circumstances. I’m asking from you, Chairman Barry and Councilmembers, make sure that the Office of Wage-Hour can handle my claim for liquidated damages, so I, and other workers in my same situation, don’t have to go through another hurdle to recover from these circumstances.