Last Friday, DC Mayor Vince Gray signed the Wage Theft Prevention Act of 2014, a comprehensive bill dramatically “expanding workers' legal rights and remedies and adding several tools they can use to combat wage theft in Washington DC,” reports Ari Weisbard of the Employment Justice Center (EJC). Highlights include: employers will have to provide written terms of employment signed by employees in advance of work and will now be liable for the actions of their subcontractors or temp agencies; employers will face much higher civil penalties and damages for violations and may have their business license suspended if they commit willful violations or fail to pay ordered restitution to workers or the city; employees will be able to bring class, collective, or individual actions in court or will be able to choose a formal 60-day administrative process for obtaining an initial determination; employees will also have expanded protections from retaliation, including injunctive relief and statutory damages and penalties. Check out the EJC’ website for a blog post with reactions from worker activists who worked for years for the bill's passage. photo courtesy EJC
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