Fiscal Year 2023 Grants        

In Fiscal year 2023, starting October 1, 2022, through a competitive process two grants were awarded to two organizations, First Shift Justice Project, and DC Jobs with Justice (DC JWJ) based in the District under the Workplace Rights Grant Program.

First Shift Justice Project (FSJP): FSJP is a nonprofit organization that helps working parents in low wage jobs assert their workplace rights to prevent job loss. FSJP serves clients who work all over the Washington Metro Area, with a specific emphasis on outreach to D.C. residents in Wards 4, 5, 7 and 8.  First Shift Justice Project serves caregiving workers by using a preventive, client-centered approach to reach families, educate them about their rights, and enable them to exercise their rights without shame. By educating and supporting working parents to assert their rights before they lose their jobs or their workplace stress becomes untenable, First Shift helps them safely maintain their employment, their health and their family commitments. 

Through the “D.C. Workplace Leave Access and Enforcement Project” First Shift Justice Project seeks to prevent job loss, especially for working mothers in low wage jobs in Wards 4,5,7 and 8 with a specific focus on DC workers’ rights laws: D.C. Family Medical Leave Act (DCFMLA), Universal Paid Leave Amendment Act (UPLAA), and protecting Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PPWFA). FSJP will provide individualized direct legal services, conduct community outreach, and give Know Your Rights presentations to aid the public’s awareness and the enforcement of the laws mentioned above. The organization’s Know Your Rights education presentations will be given in collaboration with other community organizations in D.C., such as Community of Hope, Mary’s Center, Briya Public Charter School, and Carlos Rosario International PCS’ Adult Education program. Its individual legal services are tailored to each client’s circumstances and goals and aims to provide clients the support they need to effectively exercise their rights.

DC Jobs with Justice (DC JWJ): DC JWJ is a dynamic coalition of labor organizations, community groups, faith-based organizations, and student groups dedicated to protecting the rights of working people, supporting community struggles, and promoting racial justice to build a more just society. It is committed to the creation of living wage jobs, support of economic and social justice here and abroad, and maintaining pressure to demand corporate accountability in communities, and creating a fair and just future for communities of color.

Through the “Just Pay DC Workers Rights Outreach Project” DC Jobs with Justice seeks to provide high quality multilingual worker outreach efforts by providing Know Your Rights education to  District workers in fields at highest risk of wage theft, specifically those who speak non-English primary languages (Spanish, Amharic, Chinese, French, and Vietnamese) building on the successful partnerships and strategies of the Just Pay Coalition and working as a subgrantee during FY 22,with our funding to Many Languages One Voice. DC JWJ will also provide workplace rights education workshops on topics such as employment laws, minimum wage laws, wage theft prevention, paid family leave and paid sick leave.

Fiscal Year 2022 Workplace Rights Grant Program Achievements

First Shift Justice Project: “D.C. Workplace Leave Access and Enforcement Project”
Throughout this grant period, First Shift Justice Project served 56 clients by providing access to legal services. Most of the DC residents served were in wards one, five and seven. 30 opened client matters were closed, seven clients maintained their jobs or were reinstated, seven received accommodations or leave that totaled 43.5 additional weeks of paid leave; three received Paid Family Leave benefits; and a total of $17,750 was received in monetary damages.

First Shift’s online outreach included a total of 4,639 website visits with 3,580 unique visits and an audience reach rate of approximately 147,227. There were also181,685 impressions across Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. First Shift trained 40 medical and healthcare staff at Unity Health Care, Mary’s Center, Whitman-Walker Health, and Mamatoto Village.

Many Languages One Voice (MLOV) in partnership with DC Jobs with Justice (DC JWJ) and Restaurant Opportunities Center DC (ROC-DC): “Ensuring Multilingual Access to Workplace Rights program”
Through the FY22 implementation year, one major accomplishment from the grant was the recruitment and training of twenty-one part-time canvassers who were able to speak Spanish, French, Chinese, and Amharic, to match the needs of project’s target populations. Through the efforts of the multilingual canvassing team, 400 worker contacts were collected leading to 70 follow-ups requiring access to legal resources and/or services. The team disseminated 1,675 flyers through their community outreach efforts, including at workshops, worksites, and targeted events. Over 10,000 workers were reached through this project.