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DC JWJ statement on wage theft settlement at Matchbox

DC Jobs With Justice applauds Attorney General Racine and his office for ensuring Matchbox workers are fairly paid. Unfortunately, wage theft is rampant in the restaurant industry, including in well respected establishments like Matchbox. Nationally and within the District, bussers tend to be Latinx immigrants, who face additional barriers to accessing fairness in the workplace. The OAG has demonstrated once again a commitment to strategic enforcement of DC’s labor laws by focusing enforcement action on key industries where wage theft is widespread, expanding individual complaints to company-wide investigations, and pursuing large companies. We are glad that to see that 100 workers have been made whole, and look forward to the day when wage theft is over in Washington,... read more

Don’t Exclude Me

DC Excluded Workers Need $30 Million to Survive the Economic Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic RSVP to the Don’t Exclude Me action June 29th – 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM – Freedom Plaza DC is home to over 30,000 residents we know cannot access federal assistance through unemployment insurance and/or the federal stimulus. The DC FY21 budget must include cash assistance for those excluded by the federal government so that they too can survive the prolonged health and economic crisis through next year. DC is Home to Workers in Dire Need of Support Tens of thousands of DC residents are excluded from federal unemployment insurance (UI) relief efforts. This includes undocumented workers, day laborers, sex workers, street vendors, people doing hair out of their homes, returning citizens, and other informal economy workers. The vast majority of these DC residents are low-income workers who do not have the savings needed to get by without work for many months. Excluded workers are overwhelmingly Black and immigrant residents who have also been among the hardest hit by COVID-19. Cash Assistance is Urgently Needed for Excluded Workers In late March, Congress passed a measure that softened COVID-19’s economic blow to millions of Americans, including one-time direct payments of up to $1,200 for most adults and an additional $500 for each child under age 17. Congress also approved four months of federally-funded Unemployment Insurance (UI) payments of $600 per week that will be in addition to state UI benefits that jobless workers receive. In addition, they established Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)—a program for people who are ineligible for UI, such as those who have... read more

DC JWJ COVID Webinars – April 2020

English Webinar: DC JWJ’s most recent webinar with Bread for the City, Working Families Party, Legal Aid Society of DC, DC Kincare Alliance, and DC Fiscal Policy Institute. video Recent federal and local legislation have made important changes such as: Expanded unemployment benefits Changes to how we access federal assistance New protections against technology cut-offs New procedures for elections   Informacion en espanol DC Trabajos con Justicia/DC Jobs with Justice, Mary’s Center, Washington Lawyers Committee y Bread for the City presenta informacion importante para la comunidad. vídeo Los temas incluyen: – nuevas protecciones para los residentes de DC – cómo acceder a la asistencia del gobierno – cómo cuidarse y detener la propagación del coronavirus – cómo participar en las elecciones de DC para ciudadanos... read more

Open Letter to Mayor Bowser: cash assistance urgently needed

Dear Mayor Bowser, Our residents need assistance. Our organizations touch thousands of workers who are being left to fend for themselves as part of a community response to the deadly and fast-moving Coronavirus. Cash assistance now will stem a humanitarian disaster and mitigate racial inequities that are rising as a result of the pandemic. Excluded workers include tens of thousands of immigrant families and other workers. These people make DC work. They care for children and grandparents so others can go to their offices, they clean hotel rooms to make our hospitality sector strong, they power our new development by constructing our buildings, they keep our offices clean overnight, they wash dishes and keep bars stocked so we can enjoy our cocktails and DC’s fine dining. They are active members of the DC community. It is a matter of racial equity that we ensure these residents can access cash assistance. The population that is not covered by cash assistance is almost exclusively Black and Brown residents. Any negative impacts stemming from the lack of income and assistance will hurt not only these adults, but their children as well, further disadvantaging them. We need a response that is bigger than any of our organizations can do alone. This is the role only government can fill. The federal government has left our neighbors behind. But we cannot. The impact of local assistance to our neighbors will be multiplied. It will help our neighbors Stay Home DC and limit the need to seek informal work, leave safe housing, or leave home to access information. It will circulate in the local economy, keeping... read more

Still Excluded

We are very disappointed that DC leaders have made no commitments to provide cash assistance to DC workers who are ineligible for unemployment benefits. As a result, the workers who built our restaurant, hospitality, construction, home care, and other industries are left with no government resources to turn to. It is a matter of life or death for our communities that these workers stay home. And they are. It is also a matter of life or death if we support them. Without the ability to access assistance, workers and their families will return to work in the informal economy, be forced out of their homes and into homelessness and overcrowding, suffer from poor nutrition, and more. We can not ask our community to #StayHomeDC and do nothing to ensure that they can safely do so. Right now, excluded families are relying on informal networks, compassionate volunteers, and the generosity of strangers. Those resources simply do not match the scale of aid that DC government could provide. And the government, not good neighbors, should be responsible for the well being of our whole community. DC has built powerful industries on the backs of workers who have been made invisible and are regularly excluded. In all cases, that is an injustice. In this case, it is unconscionable. Estamos muy decepcionados de que los líderes de DC no se hayan comprometido a proporcionar asistencia en efectivo a los trabajadores de DC que no son elegibles para beneficios de desempleo. Como resultado, los trabajadores que construyeron nuestro restaurante, hospitalidad, construcción, cuidado del hogar y otras industrias no tienen recursos gubernamentales. Es una cuestión... read more

Cash assistance is critical to our neighbors

URGENT ACTION: EMAIL AND CALL TODAY Email Mayor Bowser and Chairman Mendelson EMAIL NOW Call Mayor Bowser – you may need to try more than one of the following numbers: (202) 727-2643 (202) 727-2600 (202) 478-9200 (202) 442-8119 (202) 664-7512 Message: Mayor Bowser, the federal government will not take care of all the members of our community. We have to. Please commit $5 million for cash assistance to those who have been left behind. Add your personal story. Social media: Images and sample tweets here MORE INFORMATION Labor unions, faith community, service providers, community organizations, and concerned neighbors  call on Mayor Bowser and the DC Council to make individual grants available to residents facing financial hardship. We call on Mayor Bowser to make $5 million available to DC residents who are ineligible for other cash assistance, and for the DC Council to legislate it’s use. We encourage you to make cash assistance available to residents who will not be able to access federal assistance or unemployment benefits. We were very disappointed to learn that funding for excluded workers which had been included in the bill circulated to the DC Council on Friday, has been fully removed from the more recent version circulated last night.  These “excluded workers” include tens of thousands of immigrant families and other workers.  These people make DC work, but their work is sometimes invisible. They care for children and grandparents so others can go out of the home to work, they clean hotel rooms to make our hospitality sector strong, they power our new development by constructing our buildings, they keep our offices clean overnight, they wash dishes... read more

Urgent Need: Cash Assistance for Excluded Workers

We urge Mayor Bowser and DC Council need to provide cash assistance to DC residents who cannot work, access unemployment benefits, and/or receive federal stimulus assistance. We call this group “excluded workers.” DC government should use the programs and infrastructure that already exists to get assistance to as many excluded workers as possible. DC government must also make grant funding available – with the ability to subgrant – to local nonprofits to meet the needs of people disconnected from government services. Take Action Now. Send an email with these needs and solutions to members of the DC Council and Mayor Bowser’s office.  Link to letter here. Mendelson: Silverman: Robert White: Grosso: Bonds: Nadeau: Cheh: Todd: McDuffie: Allen: Gray: Trayon White: Solutions: Create a benefit that mirrors Unemployment Assistance that is available to people who do not have Social Security or Alien Registration Numbers There are thousands of DC residents and workers who have documented income but do not have the ability to access unemployment. In fact, these workers have even had Unemployment Insurance paid on their behalf, but cannot access the current system. DC should make unemployment benefits available using a model similar to the one under development in New Jersey. The new program regulations should allow for ITIN or other means of identifying workers that does not rely on SSN and ARN Use existing government programs to provide cash and food assistance to residents in need The DC Healthcare Alliance is the of the... read more

Federal and Local Sick Leave Webinar

Every worker in DC has a right to paid sick days. Starting in April these rights will be expanded by new federal paid sick days legislation. Join us next Tuesday for a webinar on the ins and outs of paid sick days in the District and the new federal legislation. Federal and Local Sick Leave Webinar Tuesday, Mar 31, 2:00 – 3:00 PM RSVP... read more

COVID-19 Resources

VACCINE ELEGIBLE CATEGORIES AS OF 3/22 You can pre-register for the COVID-19 vaccine at Individuals who work in health care settings Members of the Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department Residents of long-term and intermediate care facilities and residents of community residential facilities/group homes DC residents who are 65 years old and older Individuals experiencing homelessness Members of the Metropolitan Police Department Department of Corrections Employees & Residents Continuity of Government Operations personnel All teachers and staff who work for a school or licensed child care facilities in DC Grocery store workers Outreach workers who work in health, human, and social services Individuals working in manufacturing Individuals working in food packaging DC Residents with qualifying medical conditions (see here for more info) Staff working in courts and individuals providing legal services Frontline employees of public (mass) transit Employees of the U.S. Postal Service Staff working in food service Essential employees in local government agencies Essential employees of public utilities Essential employees in health, human, and social services organizations/agencies who were not vaccinated as outreach workers Individuals working in commercial and residential property maintenance and environment services Links to other resources: Coronavirus Resources from the Mayor’s office: DC Council Elissa Silverman: D.C. Unemployment Insurance (UI) Basics for COVID-19 Emergency DC Government: Video on applying for unemployment DC Office of the Attorney General: Coronavirus Consumer Alerts  DCist: How To Get Unemployment And Other Benefits In D.C., Virginia, And Maryland Legal Aid DC: Non-legal Resource Guide  Unite Here! Local 25 Resources: Coronavirus and Unemployment Resources by State (DC, MD, VA)   Washington Interfaith Network: Accessing food and plugging in to... read more

Justice for 500+ Power Design Workers

  DC Jobs With Justice applauds the Office of the Attorney General for a record settlement on behalf of 500+ workers and the DC government. The $2.75 million settlement with Power Design, Inc is the largest recovery to date in a wage enforcement action for the OAG. This settlement is a victory for workers rights and demonstrates that DC is serious about enforcing laws that protect workers and residents in the District. We are pleased to see that the settlement included $879,056 in restitution for affected workers, penalties, an investment in apprenticeships, and additional compliance measures. We thank the Attorney General for taking seriously the concerns raised by DC Jobs With Justice and others and bringing Power Design into compliance with all local labor laws. DC Jobs With Justice began sounding the alarm about Power Design’s activities in DC in 2017. Since then we have testified to the DC Council, visited worksites, protested at the Line Hotel (a Power Design site), held a May Day parade, filed complaints with the Board of Industrial Trades, and more. DC has some of the strongest wage theft and misclassification laws in the country. However, without meaningful enforcement, these laws cannot protect workers. DC JWJ and the Just Pay Coalition have encouraged DC to take on just this kind of enforcement action in our report Making Our Laws Real. By taking on a growing player in an industry with a history of wage violations, the OAG is sending the needed message to contractors working across DC: follow the law or pay the price. “This settlement should be a wake-up call to District employers: if you cheat workers... read more


DC JwJ Sues Mayor, DCRA for Failure to Take Action Against Power Design, Inc. for the Repeated Use of Unlicensed Electricians

Mayor Bowser and DCRA Say They Don’t Owe Public Any Explanation, Continue to Overlook Anti-Worker Practices at Power Design, Inc FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 27, 2022 DC Jobs with Justice (JwJ) began investigating Power Design, Inc. – a national electrical contractor – in 2017 after receiving numerous complaints from workers alleging wage theft. JwJ brought those complaints to the D.C. Office of the Attorney General which subsequently sued Power Design for failing to classify hundreds of its workers as employees and cheating them out of wages and benefits. The company settled and paid $2.75 million to workers and the District. Over the course of its wage investigation into Power Design, JwJ became aware of potential violations concerning electrical licensing laws.  JwJ filed a complaint with DCRA’s Board of Industrial Trades (Board), alleging that the company had a practice of using unlicensed electrical subcontractors to perform electrical work in the District, putting residents, workers and the general public at risk.  In February 2020, following a five-month investigation, DCRA issued a 145-page report, concluding that  over the last five years, Power Design has hired at least seven unlicensed electrical contractors to perform work in the District of Columbia.  Despite DCRA’s findings, the Board – without notice or explanation – summarily dismissed JwJ’s complaint.  For nine months, JwJ repeatedly asked the Board and DCRA for an explanation, but received nothing but radio silence. The agency left JwJ with no other recourse than to sue the Mayor and DCRA because they are responsible for ensuring that the Board performs its statutory obligations.   This week, Mayor Bowser and DCRA Director Chrappah responded to JwJ’s... read more

Budget Recap: Crucial Wins and a Disappointing Loss

On Tuesday, the DC Council held the final vote on funding in the DC budget. DC Jobs With Justice is proud to have led and supported campaigns for working families in this year’s budget process. Although we had mixed results, we continue to center the power, value, and voices of DC’s workers throughout all of our campaigns and appreciate all workers and allies who fought together. Wins: $41 million for Excluded Workers: DC JWJ has led on the campaign to win funding for Excluded Workers since the very first days of the COVID crisis. This win is our largest so far, three times more than we won in all of 2020. Excluded Workers including cash economy workers, undocumented workers, and returning citizens. They will be able to access these funds through the low-barrier DC CARES program. Learn more on the Excluded Worker twitter.  Strengthening Paid Family Leave. Having supported DC’s paid family leave program from advocacy through implementation, DC JWJ was disappointed to see the initial budget undermined the strength of the program and the dedicated funding. We were part of the coalition that fought back with a demand of not just to preserving the program, but actually making it stronger. Now the Paid Family Leave program includes more time for individuals who need to care for themselves, many program improvements, and the opportunity to expand benefits. Read more about the changes we helped win here: Losses: Hero Pay: Sadly not all of our campaigns won. The Heroes Pay Act introduced by Councilmember Elissa Silverman would have paid essential workers a one-time Hero Pay bonus for working during the pandemic.... read more

Job Posting: DC JWJ Organizing Director

Download this description here.  Overview DC Jobs With Justice (DC JWJ) is a coalition of labor unions, community organizations, faith institutions, and student organizations dedicated to protecting and advancing the rights of working people in the DC metropolitan area. DC JWJ has helped win a precedent-setting minimum wage increase in DC, as well as led various campaigns to hold large corporations accountable to DC communities. In the past we have worked on a range of issues, from labor law to health care; from union organizing campaigns to immigrant rights. Please see for more information. DC JWJ is seeking an Organizing Director to oversee staff as well as manage a limited portfolio of campaign responsibilities. The ideal candidate has experience managing organizers and will excel at supporting their leadership as well as developing and implementing strategic campaigns. This person will be a team player, excited about the role of unions and coalitions in social change, and committed to justice in Washington, DC. This position will report directly to the Executive Director of DC Jobs With Justice. Job Responsibilities Staff management: (50% of time) Provide direct supervision to DC JWJ’s 4 organizing staff to support leadership development, campaign development, work planning and activities. Campaigns: Coordinate and facilitate coalition campaigns to promote economic, racial, and social justice in Washington, DC by working with members and allies to develop campaign strategy and plans. Grants management: Monitor grant spending and track staff activities relative to grant deliverables.   Required Qualifications: Two or more years managing staff Outstanding leadership skills and the ability to connect with and build effective teams of diverse partners across... read more