EJC’s Amazing June Wins for Workers

June was the biggest month yet for EJC victories. Here’s a glimpse at all we’ve accomplished with your help this month.

DC Council Acts to Prevent Wage Theft

From left to right: EJC activists Yvonne Johnson, Howard Mayo, Solange Ayuk, and Eugene Thomas testify about their experiences of wage theft

From left to right: EJC activists Yvonne Johnson, Howard Mayo, Solange Ayuk, and Eugene Thomas testify about their experiences of wage theft

Last Wednesday, DC workers scored some major victories when the DC Council passed the Wage Theft Prevention Act as part of this year’s District budget. For years, workers have had to struggle just to get the wages they’re owed. Unscrupulous employers have gotten away with stealing their workers’ wages because they end up paying just the wages they owed in the first place even when they get caught. As soon as the Mayor signs this law, workers will be able to get up to four times the wages they’re owed as compensation for the hardship of having to fight for months or years for their wages. The Act will also make it easier for workers who are cheated out of federal prevailing wages and benefits to enforce their rights in DC courts. This is a huge leap forward for DC workers.

Thanks to the worker activists and EJC volunteers and allies who testified about their experiences of wage theft before the DC Council and all who turned out or emailed in support of this amendment. This victory is yours!

DC Auditor Adds Fuel to Paid Sick Days Campaign

Paid Sick Days LogoDC’s local paid sick days law is a success, but needs to be strengthened according to a report released Wednesday by the DC Auditor.  The report examined the 2008 law’s impact and found that 18% more businesses are offering paid sick days in 2012 than before the law was passed.  However, more than 30% of businesses reported that they still do not offer paid sick days, showing the need for wider coverage and stronger enforcement standards. See coverage in the Washington Post, Washington Business Journal, CBS, Salon, and  Think Progress. The long-delayed audit was finally conducted due in large part to EJC’s advocacy over the past year.

Bikeshare Campaign Heating Up

Capital Bikeshare workers hold a press conference in front of DDOT office after delivering their petition to Alta demanding their unpaid wages.The EJC joined past and present Capital Bikeshare workers last week as they delivered nearly 1500 petition signatures to Capital Bikeshare District Manager Eric Gilliland. They demanded more than $100,000 in back wages and benefits required under the Service Contract Act. Their actions received coverage in the Washington Post and other outlets and workers were interviewed on Fox 5 News and WPFW 89.3’s Morning Brew.

EJC Announcements:

We are pleased to announce several exciting developments for the EJC this month:

  • The EJC was honored by our amazing allies, Jobs with Justice, at the 11th Annual I’ll Be There Award.
  • EJC’s Ari Weisbard has been promoted from Advocacy Manager to the role of Deputy Director. In addition to leading the EJC’s advocacy work, Ari is taking on more responsibility for the financial management of the office. Congratulations Ari!
  • EJC’s Executive Director Barbra Kavanaugh is now serving on the Board of Directors of Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW). WOW works nationally and in its home community of Washington, DC to build pathways to economic independence for America’s families, women, and girls. WOW has a distinctive history in changing the landscape of women and work.
  • The EJC thanks to all who donated to help us continue our work to support workers’ rights during our Do More 24 fundraiser.

What’s next?

Take action with us: Sign the petition from past and present Capital Bikeshare workers to Alta CEO Mia Birk demanding that Alta pay them back wages and benefits.

Celebrate with us: Join us on July 9 at 5:30pm as we celebrate Belinda Sheppard, activist with the Employment Justice Center and owner of Flava at Wa-Zo-Bia Bar and Lounge. Belinda just signed on to support the Paid Sick Days for All campaign and supports providing paid sick days to ALL of her employees. Help us show her some love and appreciation by bringing yourself and all your friends to her bar on July 9th! Please RSVP on Facebook or by emailing Naomi Iser at niser@dcejc.org.

Save the date: EJC’s Annual Labor Day Breakfast is scheduled for September 24th at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC. For more information, contact Kyle Phillips at kphillips@dcejc.org.

And, as always:

Support us: None of our work would be possible if we didn’t have support from people like you.

Spread the Word: Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter! Get instant updates about EJC and workers’ rights and spread the message about important worker justice campaigns.