IMMEDIATE RELEASE – UPDATE
June 14, 2012
DC WORKERS UNION, DC JOBS WITH JUSTICE, AND METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT CELEBRATE NEW PROCEDURE TO RESOLVE WAGE THEFT COMPLAINTS
CONTACT: Arturo Griffiths
DC Jobs with Justice
CONTACT: Rachel Sier
DC Jobs with Justice
District of Columbia day laborers (Unión de Trabajadores de DC/DC Workers Union) and DC Jobs with Justice announce the development of a new procedure to involve the Metropolitan Police Department in investigating and documenting wage theft cases. On Thursday, June 14th the members of the Unión de Trabajadores de DC/DC Workers Union and DC Jobs with Justice will celebrate this new accord with representatives from the MPD and DOES. The celebration will be held at 7 PM at the Foundry Church located at 1500 P St. NW, Washington, DC
For the past several years DC Jobs with Justice has been working with immigrant day laborers to address the rampant problem of wage theft that affects workers throughout the District of Columbia. Wage theft occurs when workers do not get paid for work performed or are laid off without being paid their salary. Carlos Diaz, a member of la Union de Trabajadores de DC, says “Many of us work long hours to make ends meet. But frequently contractors refuse to pay what we are owed at the end of the day. We are happy that the D.C. police will now get involved in assisting us to recover our wages”.
This procedure defines the role of the police in supplementing existing institutions by creating a standard protocol and training for officers when responding to wage theft claims. This celebration will confirm the mutual understanding we have reached on how MPD and DOES can develop a partnership to assist workers with their wage theft claims.
“It is important that we all come together as a community to combat the egregious practice of wage theft” says Nikki Daruwala, Executive Director of DC Jobs with Justice. “We believe that stopping wage theft is good for workers and their families as well as the economy as a whole.”
Below is the text of the “Procedure for MPD Officers to Address Wage and Hour Concerns”
1. The Department of Employment Services (DOES) has primary jurisdiction for administering the District’s wage and hour law. It is the policy of DOES to maintain open lines of communication with all District agencies, including the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).
2. In order to assist DOES in their current procedure of investigating wage and hour claims, MPD has agreed to train officers to document all reports of wage and hour violations in their notebooks capturing as much detail as possible surrounding the dispute (names, phone numbers, location, observations etc.). MPD officers will also be required to provide parties with a copy of their business card and their badge number.
3. MPD officers that respond to wage and hour concerns should pay particular attention to observations surrounding the amount of work that appears or does not appear to have been completed.
4. MPD will provide DOES with vehicle registration information on vehicle tag numbers when DOES is seeking the information relative to a wage and hour investigation.
5. MPD officers will make themselves available by E-mail to DOES investigators who are administrating wage and hour investigations.
6. If a claimant has had previous interactions with an MPD officer in regards to his wage and hour concern, the DOES investigator will follow current procedure and communicate with this officer. The DOES investigator will include relevant information from this communication in the administrative proceedings.