Mayor Gray Signs Paid Sick Days and Minimum Wage Bills

Mayor Gray Signing Minimum Wage BillMayor Vincent Gray has now signed both the Minimum Wage Amendment Act and the Earned Sick and Safe Leave Amendment Act of 2013. After 3 years of organizing, strategizing and campaigning by the Employment Justice Center and our allies, the District of Columbia will have just about the strongest minimum wage and paid sick days laws in the nation.

Once the earned sick days law is funded in the D.C. budget, 20,000 tipped restaurant workers and thousands of other workers on their first year on the job will gain a right to paid sick days under law. All D.C. workers will have stronger retaliation protections and enforcement mechanisms and will be able to earn and use their paid sick days more quickly. Many of these successes are thanks to the workers who took time off work to speak out at rallies, write letters and tirelessly lobby council members.

See below to check out the workers telling their stories at the hearing on the paid sick days bill on October 28th, 2013.

(Download Silverlight to view DC Council videos.)

Woong Chang, restaurant worker for the past 9 years:


Jose Alvarado, restaurant server:


Sonya Villatoro de Baccus, server who’s been working in D.C. area restaurants for 13 years:


Belinda Shepherd,  Former EJC client and current owner of Flava @ Wa-zo-bia Restaurant:


Patricia Namayo, restaurant worker:


And EJC’s own Naomi Iser, Advocacy Associate