Hello District Neighbors,
Workers are the backbone of the District and help make our city run. My office works hard every day to stand up for District workers and ensure that they aren’t taken advantage of or mistreated by their employers. We make sure workers receive the wages and benefits that they are entitled to, educate them about their rights, and hold employers accountable when they mistreat their employees or try to skirt District law.
And we achieve results.
Since 2017, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) has launched more than 75 investigations and recovered over $7 million for workers and the District by bringing investigations and lawsuits against employers who violate the law.
We recently announced a new lawsuit against two companies for cheating District employees out of their hard-earned wages and benefits.
Our suit alleges that Washington, DC cleaning businesses Jan-Pro Franchising International and Jan-Pro are running a multi-level franchising scheme that misclassifies janitorial employees as independent contractors—preying on District janitors and denying them hard-earned wages and paid sick leave. By misclassifying employees, Jan-Pro subjects them to a blizzard of fees that can add up to 25% of workers’ monthly wages.
This illegal scheme was a clear bait-and-switch, which effectively forced workers to shoulder Jan-Pro’s business costs. If any company steals its employees’ hard-earned wages and benefits, my office will hold them accountable.
To learn more, read this Washington Post article.
This suit is part of OAG’s larger effort to stand up for District workers and fight against all forms of illegal wage theft. And we’ll keep fighting for workers wherever we see legal violations like these.
Karl A. Racine
D.C’s Minimum and Tipped Wages Increased
On July 1, the District’s minimum wage increased by 90 cents to $16.10, and tipped wage increased by 30 cents to $5.35. Every worker deserves fair, legal wages and this increase is good news for all District workers.
Join AARP DC and Me for a Virtual Conversation on Elder Justice
The financial exploitation of elders and vulnerable adults unfortunately isn’t new, but during economic downturns and in the face of isolation—as many experienced during the pandemic—vulnerable adults become bigger targets for scams and exploitation.
On Thursday, July 28 at 6:00pm, join AARP DC State Director Louis Davis Jr. and me for a conversation about how OAG helps protect older District residents from financial abuse and scams and how our older community members can live their golden years with dignity and security. Click here to RSVP. And click here to learn more about OAG’s work to protect older residents.
Ghost Guns Should be Regulated Just Like Other Guns. Period.
Last week, I led a coalition of 20 Attorneys General in supporting a critical new federal rule that will help get untraceable, undetectable “ghost guns,” guns that are sold without background checks and without serial numbers, off the streets and regulated just like any other firearm.
In recent years, the District has seen an exponential increase in the number of ghost guns recovered by law enforcement. For example, MPD recovered just three ghost guns in 2017, but recovered 439 in 2021 – a 146-fold increase.
In the face of a gun violence epidemic, we must take every step possible to ensure District residents are safe. My office will continue to use every tool at our disposal to hold ghost gun manufacturers and distributors accountable. That’s why we sued Polymer80 – a leading manufacturer of ghost guns in the United States and the company responsible for most of the ghost guns recovered in the District – for illegally advertising and selling them to District consumers. We were the first attorney general office in the country to file such a suit against Polymer80. It needs to follow the law like other gun manufacturers. Learn more about what ghost guns are and why they need to be regulated like other firearms.
Protecting Patients and Local Abortion Providers
Last week, my office testified at a DC Council hearing on two critical bills that will help strengthen DC’s already strong, patient-centered abortion laws. One of the bills would provide District residents, visitors, medical providers, and aid organizations additional clarity and reassurance to exercise their rights without fear of prosecution or financial ruin. Thank you to the Council for thinking expansively about how to make DC’s abortion rights laws even stronger. Read my office’s full testimony here.
We’ll continue do everything in our power to fiercely defend and strengthen the right to abortion in the District so everyone can create their family how and when they choose.
Learn more about what the Supreme Court’s decision does and doesn't mean for DC residents, visitors to the District seeking abortion care, and DC-based abortion providers by reading our medium page here.
Learn more about how to protect your data and privacy if you’re considering seeking abortion care by reading our consumer alert here. Many people don’t realize that certain phone apps like fertility trackers might transmit private information on their reproductive decisions.
Sign up to Receive a Report From our Office
I know many of you are loyal readers of this newsletter—because, among other reasons, you made it this far down! If you’re interested in learning more about OAG and our work, I invite you to sign up to receive the physical copy of our office’s report this fall. It will provide information on where you can report everything from consumer protection violations to acts of discrimination. It will also show how far OAG has come in the last seven years and will include a special message from me as I reflect on my time as Attorney General.