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					                              justice
                                  for workers

 Dear Friends and Colleagues:

 It is hard to believe that yet another year in the life of the EJC has passed. I remember so clearly when the EJC
 was nothing more than a thought in my and Kerry’s minds nearly seven years ago. It’s amazing to realize that
 our little thought has now “grown up” and has become an important and indispensable part of the legal services
 community in the D.C. metropolitan area. In fact, we are the only full-service employment advocacy
 organization for low-wage workers in the region. As you will read in this Annual Report, 2006 was another
 highly successful year. We collected more than $750,000 for workers and successfully advocated for the
 passage of key legislation that will better the lives of thousands.

 We could never have accomplished so much without your support. “Thank you” just doesn’t cover the depth of
 our appreciation to the EJC’s donors and advocates. Please help us continue the fight. With your support, we
 can help to ensure that the economic prosperity that will come to Anacostia with the new baseball stadium and
 waterfront development is shared with the low-income residents of the District. With your help, we can
 continue to protect working parents from being fired because they must take a day off work to care for their sick
 children. We can also pursue unscrupulous employers who don’t pay the wages their workers have earned. And
 we have so much more planned for 2007 and beyond! (In fact, just to give you a heads up on one of our 2007
 victories, we’re pleased to announce that on May 1, 2007, the paid sick and safe days legislation we’ve been
 working toward the past 2 ½ years was finally introduced with unanimous support from the D.C. Council!
 Look for more on that in our summer newsletter.)

 Again, thank you for all your support. Let's continue to seek workplace justice for those who toil at the
 margins, and help them to obtain simple fairness, a living wage, a safe workplace, and the respect their labor
 should earn for them.


 Sincerely,


 Judith M. Conti
 Executive Director




  ANNUAL REPORT 2006
D.C. Employment Justice Center
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                                                             Legal Services
                             In 2006, the legal services team collected over $750,000 in back wages and benefits for low-
                             income workers, far eclipsing our goal of $500,000 and the $600,000 collected in 2006. In
                             addition, the EJC achieved many other intangible results, such as obtaining medical care for
                             workers who were injured on the job and favorable letters of reference for workers seeking new
                             jobs. The EJC also helped 824 new workers at our Northwest clinic, which saw 1,255 total
                             individuals in 2006 for intakes and follow-up interviews. The Southeast site, which reopened on
                             September 11, assisted 40 additional workers.



       LIGHTFOOT UPDATE
       Lightfoot Update
        Soon after the EJC began its Workers' Rights Clinic in 2001, it began to encounter many D.C. government
        workers who had been failed by their workers' compensation program, the D.C. Disability Compensation
        Program. With the help of the Public Justice Advocacy Clinic at the George Washington University Law
        School and the law firm of Miller & Chevalier, the EJC began to challenge the Disability Compensation
        Program's practices, including filing a class action lawsuit, Lightfoot et al. v. District of Columbia et al., in June
        2001. In the lawsuit, the class plaintiffs claimed that the manner in which claimants' benefits were terminated,
        suspended, and modified violated both D.C. law and the due process clause of the United States Constitution.

        In September 2004, a trial judge for the United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued a
        sweeping decision on a summary judgment motion filed by the class plaintiffs, finding in favor of the Lightfoot
        class and ordering the D.C. government to reinstate approximately 3,000 workers and to issue published
        regulations so that future decision-making would be fair. Unfortunately, the reinstatement remedy was reversed
        and the case was remanded back to the trial judge for further proceedings.

        At present, the parties are engaged in discovery efforts. And recently, a magistrate judge ordered the D.C.
        government to grant the Lightfoot class access to over 13,000 claimants' files, representing all of the claimants
        in the disability compensation system with closed files during the relevant class period. We anticipate that the
        review of these files will begin shortly.
SOUTHEAST CLINIC
GENDER: 44% Women, 56% Men

RACE: 97% Black, 3% Asian                                               Sample Cases from
                                                                        Those We've Helped
EMPLOYER LOCATION: 75% DC,
12% Maryland, 9% Virginia, 4% Other                                     Jose* had been working at a bakery for several years
                                                                        without receiving overtime pay when he came to the
                                                                        EJC's Workers' Rights Clinic. The EJC helped Jose
CASE TYPE: 38% Termination,                                             file a complaint with the Department of Labor, where
12% Unemployment, 9% Workers' Comp,                                     it languished for over a year before Jose's employer
9% EEO, 4% FMLA, 4% ADA, 4% Wage & Hour,                                began to suspect that Jose had made an overtime
                                                                        complaint. The employer began badgering him and
4% Sexual Harassment, 16% Other                                         treating him differently from the other employees,
                                                                        then Jose was terminated. Jose returned to the
                                                                        Workers' Rights Clinic and stated that he believed his
NORTHWEST CLINIC                                                        termination was in retaliation for filing the DOL
                                                                        complaint. The EJC solicited the help of pro bono
                                                                        Crowell & Moring attorney Daniel Creekman, who
GENDER: 46% Women, 52.5% Men,                                           intervened on Jose's behalf. Soon after the
                                                                        intervention, the DOL communicated a generous
1.5% Unidentified
                                                                        settlement offer from the bakery of unpaid back
                                                                        overtime and retaliation damages.
RACE: 49.3% Black, 39% Latino,
                                                                        Delilah*, a D.C. Public Schools employee, was
3.8% White, 2.7% Asian,                                                 injured at work. After initially being denied for
0.2% Native American, 1.6% Other,                                       Workers’ Compensation, she persisted on her own
3.5% Unidentified                                                       behalf and began receiving benefits. Unfortunately,
                                                                        Delilah’s troubles were far from over. A doctor from
                                                                        Workers’ Compensation deemed Delilah able to
EMPLOYER LOCATION: 70% DC,                                              work, despite the fact that her injury still inhibited
14.4% Maryland, 8.4% Virginia,                                          her, and her disability benefits were cut off. She
                                                                        came to the EJC for help and began the appeals
0.4% Other, 6.7% Unidentified                                           process. Her medical and weekly benefits were
                                                                        restored retroactively, which resulted in a payment of
CASE TYPE: 27.1% Wage & Hour,                                           more than $61,000 to Delilah!
25.9% Termination, 12% Workers Comp,                                    Jaime* was hired by a homeowner to renovate three
8.6% EEO, 5.9% Unemployment Insurance,                                  bathrooms.       The homeowner made a verbal
4.6% Criminal Records, 3.5% On the Job,                                 agreement with Jaime to pay him $6300 for the job.
                                                                        At first, Jaime received about half of the agreed upon
1.7% ADA, 1.8% Sexual Harassment,                                       sum. Later, the employer decided he did not want the
1% FMLA, 0.3% Tort, 0.1% OSHA,                                          third bathroom renovated as they had planned, and
7.6% Other                                                              told Jaime he would deduct $1000 from the second
                                                                        payment. However, the homeowner never gave
                                                                        Jaime a second check. At clinic, the EJC helped
                                                                        Jaime write and send a demand letter for the unpaid
VICTORY FOR RFK RFK Workers
Victory for WORKERS                                                     wages he was owed. After several frustrating weeks,
                                                                        Jaime had still not heard from the employer. The
After learning that workers at RFK Stadium were being paid well         EJC helped Jaime file his claim with the D.C. Office
below the wage levels required by the Service Contract Act, the         of Wage and Hour, but since he had only made a
EJC alerted the affected workers by distributing fliers at a baseball   verbal agreement with his employer, Wage and Hour
                                                                        was unable to help him get his money. Jaime was
game and solicited the involvement of Steptoe & Johnson to              considering filing his case in small claims court when
remedy the situation working with the D.C. Sports and                   his unpaid wages unexpectedly arrived! Incredibly,
Entertainment Commission. As a result, in 2006, RFK stadium             five months after having sent the original demand
workers collected over $550,000 in back wages. The EJC will             letter, Jaime received a check from his former
continue to monitor government contractors for compliance with          employer for $2,800. He attributes this payment to
                                                                        the demand letter that the EJC helped him write.
the Service Contract Act and other prevailing wage statutes, such
as the new D.C. living wage.                                                     *Client names have been changed
                                                                                     to protect confidentiality.
                      EJC Clinic Attorneys & Volunteers
30+ Clinics                   10-19 Clinics                 5-9 Clinics           Emily Lerner




                    Your
                                                                                  Alex Levi-Gardes
Patricia Abaroa               Ann Allen                     Josie Babcox          Alex MacLean
Sora Kim                      Jennifer Bacon                Shannon Baker-        Gador Manzano
Martin Kohn                   Kaitlin Dunne                 Branstetter           Ernestyne Matthews
Joel Kravetz                  Kristen Farr                  Marshall Barksdale    Kartic Padmanabhan
Michael Paarlberg             Joan Goodrich                 Rebecca Bell          Reuben Pemberton



                    help
Douglas Parker                Carly Grey                    Bridgid Leigh-Brady   Amanda Rabinowitz
Andy Rowe                     Mark Hanna                    Hannah Carney         Stephanie Richards
Ronald “RJ” Wang              Stephen Herm                  Katie Clair           Robin Runge
                              Steve Kahn                    Mary Corbin           Dovi Sacks
                              Betty Chia-Karro              Paul Fitch            Ben Schaefer
20-29 Clinics



                 is greatly
                              Matt Kopac                    Seth Gainer           Erin Schanning
                              Hayden Kwast                  Denise Greaves        Carolyn Schroeder
Xandi Aranda
                              Joe MacNeille                 Doug Green            Renee Servance
Hank Gassner
                              Jeanette Markle               Leslie Halsey         Naomi Sheffield
Robert Kurnick
                              Juliana Moran                 Allison Harper        Chris Soriano
Tom Ramstack
                              Wendy Nelson                  David Hensel          Nicole Spencer
Aniko Schwarcz




  appreciated!
                              Nick Pavlov                   Althea Holford        Matt Swerdlin
(Attorneys are in bold.)      Joan Snyder                   Yoomie Huynh          Eric Templeton
                              Nora Van Horssen              Ron Javier            Elliot Tucker
                              Susan Wuchinich               William Jones         Keren Wheeler
                                                            Katie Jones           Paige Willan
                                                            Lena Kozlova          April Williams




                                                            THANK YOU
         Attorney Consultation Program
    The EJC’s Attorney Consultation Program launched
    during the Spring of 2006. This program supports the
    needs of workers in D.C., Maryland, or Virginia who
    are facing employment law challenges and who may
    have incomes of “modest means,” yet still are above
    the EJC’s income guidelines to be eligible for clinic
    services. Based on their income, participants pay a
    fee of $50 - $200 to receive a one-on-one, in-person
    consultation (up to one hour maximum) with an
    experienced employment law attorney. The
    participating attorneys are barred in DC, Maryland,
    or Virginia and are either a member of the                      For giving our
    Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers
    Association or the AFL-CIO’s Lawyer’s Coordinating          Workers’ Rights Clinics
    Committee.                                               a home for yet another year!
Advocacy &
Community Organizing
Living Wage                                                 Criminal Records
Beginning in 2005, the EJC and other organizations          As the D.C. Council’s year came to a close, it passed the
created a coalition that campaigned for a living wage in    Criminal Record Expungement Act of 2006. This bill
D.C. Following a near-unanimous vote of support in          had an interesting genesis and trip through the legislative
March 2006 by the D.C. City Council, the living wage        process. In 2005, the EJC and advocates from the D.C.
officially became law on June 8, 2006. As a result, the     Prisoners Legal Services Project and Our Place, D.C.,
minimum wage for people who work for the DC                 visited Councilmember Phil Mendelson to let him know
government or under DC government contracts and             how difficult D.C. law made it for people to be able to
grants is $11.75 an hour, an amount that will adjust        seal and expunge stale criminal records that were
annually to meet inflation. Since the passage of the law,   standing in the way of them getting good jobs. Mr.
we have been working hard to ensure that this wage is       Mendelson, gripped by the problem and the stories he
being followed. We met with representatives from the        heard, reached out to the Council for Court Excellence
Department of Employment Services and the Office of         (CCE), a local organization well known for its thoughtful
Contracting and Procurement, and have done extensive        and thorough work on solutions to some of the crucial
outreach to workers who are eligible for the wage. In       institutional problems serving as a barrier to justice. CCE
the fall of 2006, with the help of 25 volunteers, we were   brought together a committee of stakeholders from
able to talk to workers at 20 D.C. public schools to let    relevant communities, including law enforcement,
them know that they should be receiving the living wage.    criminal defense attorneys, judges, and the EJC, and led
We have helped workers secure their pay increase, where     them through a process during which the group came to
due; collect back payments; and publicize this wage         consensus on legislation that was a sensible approach to
increase to unions who are re-negotiating contracts. We     letting people seal and expunge old criminal records that
now are coordinating a strategy to examine all contracts    had no bearing on who they are today. Bolstered by
awarded in the District to ensure that living wage          support from the EJC, CCE, and other stakeholders, this
compliance is included.                                     legislation became law in the spring of 2007.

Injured Employees                                           As a result, those with D.C. criminal records will now
Over the past few years, Injured Worker Advocates have      be able to seal and expunge far more items on their
worked closely with EJC organizers to gain practical        criminal records, bringing D.C. into greater conformity
political knowledge and skills. They put these skills to    with the rest of the country on this important issue.
work, spending countless hours raising awareness of the     Whether an item can be sealed and expunged depends
importance of their campaign and using their political      on the nature of the crime and whether or not the
muscle to influence decision makers. Their efforts paid     accusation resulted in a conviction. Before sealing or
off in December 2006 when the D.C. City Council             expunging, an individual must follow proscribed waiting
unanimously approved the Injured Employee Protection        periods. Rest assured, those with truly heinous records
Act. The bill imposes penalties on the government when      of horrific crimes will not be able to walk away from
it fails to provide medical care and income benefits to     those records, but people who are not a threat to society
injured government workers in a timely manner. In           and who have paid their dues will have a greater ability
addition, the bill provides for attorneys’ fees when a      to clean their records in order to get good jobs, housing,
claimant successfully appeals the denial or termination     and other supports people need to become healthy
of benefits. Following the mandated congressional           contributing members of society.
review period, the Injured Employee Protection Act
became law on March 6, 2007.
D.C. Women’s Agenda
In 2003, the EJC founded the D.C. Women’s Agenda (DCWA), a local advocacy and policy coalition that promotes
the advancement of equality, health, and well-being of women and girls in the District. The EJC now co-chairs the
coalition along with Wider Opportunities for Women. The DCWA is comprised of about 50 organizations, as well
as a number of individual members. In 2006, the DCWA was able to hire its first paid coordinator, Peg Hacskaylo,
a D.C. resident with vast experience with the community and in particular with the issue of domestic violence.
With her help, the DCWA put out its first Candidates’ Guide, which included detailed responses from both Mayoral
and Council candidates to a series of questions. The questions arose out of a series of issue forums the DCWA had
previously held around the District. They focused on issues key to the quality of life for women and girls: health
care, child care, teen safety, housing/homelessness, wages and benefits, and transparency in government. The
DCWA designed the questionnaire to determine the candidates’ positions on these important issues and to educate
the community on how candidates, if elected, planned to represent this important portion of their constituency.
The report was distributed to coalitions, funders, Councilmembers and various media entities. The guide was
disseminated electronically, at candidates’ events, and to member organizations of coalition groups. It was also
posted on EJC and Wider Opportunities for Women’s websites. Finally, about 200 hard copies were given out.
The Candidates’ Guide enabled DC women to become educated on their candidates’ positions, thus leading to
more informed voters. With this knowledge, the women made their voices heard and played a vital role in their
futures.

          Mayoral Candidate Forum
 With DC mayoral candidates focusing primarily on educa-
 tion and housing issues, the EJC was aware that 2006 elec-
 tion year politics would present hurdles to passing impor-
 tant worker legislation. In light of that, the EJC’s Injured
 Worker Advocates along with One D.C. hosted a Mayoral
 Candidate Forum for the Democratic candidates. The forum,
 held on June 27 in the multipurpose room of Immaculate
 Conception School gave the community an opportunity to
 hear candidate views on worker concerns, and also allowed
 IWA members to connect with the mayoral candidates and
 to encourage them to make oversight of the Disability Com-
 pensation Program a priority in the next administration.
 Among other things, at the forum, candidate Vincent Or-
 ange committed to work toward finding the funding that
                                                                Over 100 DC voters participated in the Mayoral Candidate Fo-
 helped to achieve the passage of the Injured Worker Protec-
                                                                rum. IWA was pleased to inform new members of the public about
 tion Act.                                                      the challenges of the disability compensation program and to con-
                                                                nect with new workers interested in becoming involved with the
                                                                group.

                                                                Candidates (left to right) Michael Brown, Vincent Orange, and
                                                                Adrian Fenty participated in the EJC’s Candidate Forum.



                                                                    The EJA and IWA thank all
                                                                     of our community partners
                                                                       and advocates for their
                                                                          ongoing support!
HBA Award                                                                             EJC Staff
The EJC was the proud recipient of the HBA-DC’s                                      Judith Conti
(Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia)                             Executive Director
2006 Hugh A. Johnson Memorial Award on November 1
at Southwest D.C.’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel. HBA-DC                                 Melvina Ford
bestows the Johnson Memorial Award annually to a DC-                           Director of Legal Services
based organization that best exhibits “unwavering
                                                                                   Karen Minatelli
commitment and achievement in public service and                                   Director of Policy
dedication to the principles of equality, cultural respect,
and social justice.” The award was created to honor                                  Art Rogers
congressional staffer Hugh A. Johnson, Jr. who tragically                        Pro Bono Coordinator
died in a 1989 plane crash.
                                                                            Amy Vruno & Ilana Lipsett
                                                                                      Organizers
Labor Day Luncheon
                                                                                Sonya D. Springfield
Another great success, this year’s Labor Day Luncheon                           Development Associate
on September 28 at the Holiday Inn on the Hill featured
best-selling author Barbara Ehrenreich and raised about                           Kathleen Laskey
$80,000! Patrick Rogers was the raffle winner of the                  Crowell & Moring/Equal Justice Works Fellow
one-week vacation home stay at Bald Head Island (prize
value $2,500). Thank you to all donors and supporters!                  Rachel Bennett & Lindsay Sumner
                                                               NW Clinic Coordinators & Lutheran Volunteer Corps Fellows
Awardees included:
                                                                               Rivka Burstein-Stern
                   Steptoe & Johnson                                     SE Clinic Coordinator & Avodah Fellow
             Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year
                                                                                   Jessica Goshow
                    Donna Cooper                              Legal & Policy Associate, Mennonite Voluntary Service Fellow
            Outstanding Community Partner
                                                                               Yorgos Schwartzmann
                                                                            Spanish Interpreter & Translator
                     Robert Kurnick
              Outstanding Pro Bono Lawyer

                 Volunteers of the Year                                    Board of Directors
               Sora Kim and Kaitlin Dunne
                                                                                 Kathy Bakich
                                                                                 Monica Brand
                                                                                Jorge Carranza
Movin’ On Up!                                                                     Brenda Day
                                                                              Anne M. Donohue
The EJC has a five-year lease at a new location. We’re        James Eisenmann (Secretary 2006, Vice President 2007)
now around the corner from the White House and                                   Hope Gleicher
Lafayette Park at 727 15th Street NW, 2nd Floor, Wash-        Jane Gruenebaum (Vice President 2006, Treasurer 2007)
ington, DC 20005. Phone (202-828-9675) and fax num-                           Melinda K. Holmes
bers (202-828-9190) remain the same. Workers’ Rights                     Joseph Kolick (President 2007)
Clinics will continue to take place at the two Bread for                         Sarah Massey
the City locations on Mondays from 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm                   Carol Waller Pope (Secretary 2007)
at 1640 Good Hope Road SE and Wednesdays from 6:00                       Joseph Semo (President 2006)
pm - 7:30 pm at 1525 7th Street NW.                                      Aydin Tuncer (Treasurer 2006)

				
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