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Unpaid wages for construction workers at 10 Light Street project

 
December 23, 2013: Prospective residents in downtown Baltimore may be curious to see the progress at 10 Light Street, a 1920s office building that is being restored and converted into high-end apartments. But the people who labor on the project claim that they faced broken promises and unexpected obstacles from their employer. 
 
The Public Justice Center’s Workplace Justice Project has filed a lawsuit on behalf of workers who engaged in demolition work at the 10 Light Street site for Lewis Brothers, Inc. Attorneys at Cohen, Milstein, Sellers & Toll PLLC are serving as co-counsel  through the PJC’s Litigation Partnership
 
The case is yet another example of the common occurrence known as wage theft. While there are several different practices that can be considered wage theft, for the 10 Light Street workers, the problem was quite simple: where were their full wages? They allege that Lewis Brothers paid its workers irregularly, did not pay the full amount that was owed, and never paid overtime wages despite the fact that many workers regularly worked more than 40 hours in a workweek.
 
“We began to be worried because they were paying us $50, $100,” Adonis Pacheco, one of the plaintiffs, told the Baltimore Sun. “They always gave us the excuse that they didn't have the money... They would pay us next week.” 
 
Nonetheless, we are taking some important steps in protecting workers’ rights in Maryland. The current lawsuit also includes a petition for a Mechanic’s Lien, which would put a hold on the 10 Light Street property until the wages are paid. Similarly, the Unpaid Wage Lien Law, which was passed last year, provides a method to prevent the employer from selling any property until the employer pays the worker the wages the worker has earned. The PJC will follow up with the implementation of the new law, as well as continue to advocate for justice through the courts so that individuals like Mr. Pacheco have the right to be paid fully for their work.  
 
You can also see the coverage for this story in the Baltimore Sun


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