Workplace Justice

The Workplace Justice Project works primarily with low-wage workers to enforce and expand their right to an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work. We use a variety of strategies including: legislative, regulatory and other policy advocacy, litigation, and coalition development. Using a strategic approach to combat identified systemic problems that negatively affect the lives of low-wage workers, we have achieved significant results in a variety of sectors and industries.

Most recently, the Workplace Justice Project has focused on combatting Independent Contractor Misclassification. ICM occurs when employees are wrongly classified as independent contractors by their employer and thereby denied benefits that accrue to employees, including but not limited to the right to unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation, overtime, and the right to be protected under federal anti-discrimination statutes. This all-to-common practice saves employers up to 30% of payroll costs, but leaves employees without crucial workplace protections. In 2009, the PJC responded to the increase of ICM and helped to pass Maryland’s Workplace Fraud Act (WFA). The WFA renders it illegal to misclassify employees as independent contractors in construction and landscaping, and provides for both administrative and private enforcement. The Workplace Justice Project is now actively litigating cases to enforce the new law and ensure that employees receive the pay and benefits to which they are entitled.
 
Know your rights in the workplace. Click on the brochure below for important information about worker misclassification.

Know your rights in the workplace - Spanish language brochure
Know your rights in the workplace - English language brochure

New resource for advocates

Collecting Unpaid Wages & Enforcing Judgments in Maryland: A Guide to Judgment Enforcement, Asset Investigation, and Employer Accountability

 

The Workplace Justice Project is currently litigating several cases involving workers who have been subject to wage theft either as a result of ICM or because they have not been paid all wages they are due for work they performed.  
 
We are also working with partners to develop policies to combat wage theft and improve the health and safety for workers, their families, and the community.  In particular, we recently published our Guide on collecting unpaid wages and enforcing judgments and are working to advance legislation designed to increase workers’ ability to collect their pay for work performed.
 
At the same time, we are a core member of Maryland’s Working Matters coalition, which is currently engaged in a campaign to bring earned sick and safe leave to Maryland’s workers. We invite you to learn more about the earned sick and safe leave campaign and sign the resolution to express your support for paid sick days for all Maryland workers.