July 21, 2020
American workers have steadily become more productive over the past 50 years – generating ever increasing profits for their companies – only to be rewarded with an equally steady erosion of their on-the-job rights. Businesses routinely steal workers’ wages, discriminate against workers of color, prevent workers from organizing, and deny workers paid sick leave – even in a pandemic.
PJC client Kym Thornton knows the story too well. As reported by Bloomberg, consistent with his allegations in a federal court complaint, he went door to door for Homefix Custom Remodeling cajoling homeowners to agree to meet with a Homefix sales representative on the promise of full time pay for part time work. Mr. Thornton allegedly worked more than full time but got paid less than minimum wage and “sometimes didn’t get paid at all.” At the same time, Mr. Thornton and other Black workers allege Homefix denied them opportunities to earn as much as their white colleagues by relegating them to canvassing neighborhoods with fewer opportunities.
The Public Justice Center, along with the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs and Murphy Anderson PLLC, represent a group of current and former Homefix employees, including Mr. Thornton, in a lawsuit against the company for unpaid wages and racial discrimination. Since we filed last year, the court has certified the case as a collective action and nearly 200 workers have joined the case.