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Mayor Gray: Fund the Paid Sick Days and Minimum Wage Laws

On Jan. 15, 2014, Mayor Vincent Gray and Council Chairman, Phil Mendelson backed by the DC City Council signed the bill that will raise the minimum wage to $11.50 an hour and give workers expanded access to paid sick days. Starting on July 1st, 2014, the minimum wage will go up to $9.50.

While these are some of the strongest paid sick leave and minimum wage laws in the countrynow we have to take one final step if we want workers to actually gain their new employment rights.

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and Council Chairman Phil Mendelson sign the minimum wage bill into law.

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and Council Chairman Phil Mendelson sign the minimum wage bill into law.

Because of DC’s unique budget rules, important parts of the new laws are on pause until the small cost of implementing them is funded. The funding will pay for new staff members to enforce the laws and for a public education campaign to be sure businesses and workers know about them. But most importantly: until funding is allocated, restaurant workers will not have the right to paid sick days, businesses will be able to make other workers work for a whole year before earning any paid sick time, restaurants won’t have to certify that they are properly paying their tipped employees, and the new retaliation protections and enforcement measures will also be on pause.

Take Action! Please let Mayor Gray and the DC Council know that we’re grateful for their support on paid sick days and the minimum wage, but that the time is now to fund the laws and make sure D.C. workers are able to access their new rights! Click here to send a letter to Mayor Gray!  

 

 

It’s Time to Raise the Wage in Maryland!

Photo taken Jan 28, 2014 at Pres. Obama's appearance at Costco in Lanham, Md.

Photo taken Jan 28, 2014 at Pres. Obama’s appearance at Costco in Lanham, Md.

UFCW Local 400 members are helping lead the fight to raise the minimum wage. We have already won several victories, raising the minimum wage to $11.50 in Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties as well as D.C. we are now taking our fight statewide! JOIN US! Fill out this quick form to tell your state representatives to raise the wage in Maryland! http://bit.ly/KZR36f

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and Chairman Phil Mendelson Sign Minimum Wage Bill into Law

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and Council Chairman Phil Mendelson sign the minimum wage bill into law.

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and Council Chairman Phil Mendelson sign the minimum wage bill into law.

Today, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and Council Chairman Phil Mendelson honored Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday by commemorating and celebrating his legacy by signing the bill that will increase the minimum wage across the District.

“A living wage should be the right of all working Americans.”
-Martin Luther King, Jr., (1966)

Flanked by  D.C. Council Members, Mayor Gray and Chairman Mendelson signed the minimum wage bill into law that will raise the wage steadily in the district to $11.50/hr. by 2016 and index the wage to inflation after that.  

On Tuesday December 17, D.C. Council took a stand for a living wage and passed the minimum wage bill. The council unanimously passed the bill with a 13-0 vote on the first reading December 3. Companion legislation extends paid sick day coverage to tipped workers in the district, who were not included in the sick days bill in 2008.

D.C. joins Montgomery County and Prince George’s County who signed their bill in December 2013.

Rally to Raise Maryland’s Minimum Wage!

Last month we had several victories unnamedin D.C. as well as Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties in Maryland. Next up is a Maryland statewide movement to raise the wage! Join us and our friends from Raise Maryland in our fight to raise Maryland’s minimum wage.

When: Tuesday January 14 5:45p.m.
Where: Lawyers Mall Annapolis, MD
Why: 
• To raise the minimum wage to $10.10 by 2016 statewide
• Index the minimum wage to the cost of living
• Boost the pay of tipped workers from 50 to 70 percent of the minimum wage
CLICK HERE to RSVP

Workers Rally for Minimum Wage Increase & Paid Sick Days

DC low-wage workers and supporters rallied last week in Freedom Plaza to call on the DC Council to pass a comprehensive bill that will raise the minimum wage to $12.50 an hour, raise the tipped minimum wage, and expand DC’s paid sick days law to cover all workers. 2013_11_11_MinWageDemoThey also delivered testimony they had not been able to at the 11-hour hearing on October 28th by the Council’s Committee on Business, Consumer, and Regulatory Affairs on legislation to reform the minimum wage and paid sick days laws in DC.

“For the past week, I’ve had a really sore throat,” testified Kathryn Seidewitz. “I had to work through all of this…I can’t (afford to) miss even a day of work to recover or go to the doctor…Healthy, well-paid workers means better workers and better businesses.” 

Respect DC Organizer Mike Wilson said that “In an increasingly expensive city, people are being forced out of their communities every day as wages remain the same but the cost of living skyrockets. It’s time to make sure that if you work in DC, you can afford to live here.” Supporters can click here to tell the Council that “DC Deserves a Raise.”

While there was broad agreement – even from corporate interests — at the recent hearing that the minimum wage needs to increase and that tipped restaurant workers should have access to paid sick days, “corporate lobby groups are trying to slow down the process and make sure DC’s workers get as little as possible,” Wilson warned. – originally reported in Union City; photo courtesy @DCJwJ