E-Alerts & Press Releases

Grow justice for workers

 
It’s spring! The snow is finally gone, and we’re excited for blooming gardens, leafy trees, and new mulch. When we see beautiful gardens and manicured lawns, we know that there are often people like Mr. Hernandez behind the beauty.
 
Your gift can help ensure that workers are paid justly for their work sprucing up yards and business grounds for spring and summer.
 
Mr. Hernandez came to Maryland through the H-2B temporary worker program to work for a local landscaping contractor. He  earns money to send back to his family in Mexico. But payment was, shall we say, creative... not to mention illegal:
 
His employer told him outright that paying overtime was too expensive, so instead he’d be paid for some of his overtime at the regular rate.
 
He wasn’t paid for Saturday hours until the end of the season, and then, it was paid “as a bonus.”
 
He wasn’t paid for the time it took to pick up equipment before going to a worksite, nor for the time spent returning or maintaining the equipment.
 
He wasn’t reimbursed for his travel and visa expenses, even though the employer was required to do so by law.
 
And he wasn’t the only one treated this way. So Mr. Hernandez and some of his co-workers contacted the Public Justice Center, and together, we sued their employer. The resulting settlement won $70,000 for the eight workers, and put the company on notice that illegal payment practices will not be tolerated.
 
The generosity of people like you made this victory possible, and you can help others like Mr. Hernandez.
 
It’s hard for workers to come forward when they’re dependent on their employer for their housing, transportation, and most importantly, their income. Many are afraid that they won’t be rehired next year if they speak up about not getting paid correctly. It’s a big risk to take when they’re responsible for their family’s survival. Your contribution puts the support of excellent attorneys and the strength of the law behind them, making it a little bit easier to stand up for the money they have rightfully earned.
 
As landscaping workers like Mr. Hernandez return to plant gardens and build patios this spring, join us in growing justice for workers. Please make a gift today. Thank you.
 
P.S. Today is International Workers' Day -- another great reason to give in support of workers' rights to be paid fully and fairly!


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