May 13, 2019
Standing Up for District Workers
From the Office of the Attorney General
A study by the Economic Policy Institute found that low-wage workers lose an average of $64 per week—or more than $3,300 per year—when employers refuse to pay employees what they are rightfully owed. This is called “wage theft” and it is illegal in the District of Columbia.
In instances where employers take advantage of their workers, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) can take legal action to hold them accountable. Last week, we announced our largest wage theft win to date. OAG secured a settlement with Airway Sheet Metal Co. that will provide more than $100,000 in unpaid wages to 40 workers. Our investigation found evidence that, from 2015 to 2017, Airway failed to properly pay its workers overtime rates and failed to provide them with any paid sick leave, as required by District law.
Last year, OAG stepped up wage theft enforcement after working with the D.C. Council on legislation granting the agency independent authority to investigate and bring these cases. To date, OAG has obtained over $250,000 in judgments and settlements against businesses that have stolen wages from District workers.
If you believe your rights have been violated by your employer, report it to OAG at (202) 442-9854 or submit a complaint to the Department of Employment Services. Workers can also learn about their rights to fair wages, overtime pay, and sick leave with our free resources.
OAG will continue to hold employers accountable when they fail to pay workers what they have rightfully earned.
Karl A. Racine