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星期四, 11月 03, 2016

AG’S OFFICE, COMMUNITY PARTNERS TO HOST FREE LEGAL CLINIC FOR WORKERS TO ADDRESS WAGE THEFT

AG’S OFFICE, COMMUNITY PARTNERS TO HOST FREE LEGAL CLINIC FOR WORKERS TO ADDRESS WAGE THEFT
Part of AG Healey’s Effort to Combat Wage Theft and Worker Exploitation

BOSTON – Attorney General Maura Healey’s Office, in cooperation with 10 community partners, is hosting a free legal clinic at Suffolk Law School to match workers with volunteer lawyers and assist them with wage theft issues.

This month’s clinic, which is the second in a series, is part of an effort to address wage theft and worker exploitation among vulnerable populations, including low wage and immigrant workers in the state. The goal of these clinics is to provide workers with access to attorneys and advocates to help ensure that they are receiving the wages and benefits they deserve.

“Wage theft is extremely prevalent in our state, especially among vulnerable workers,” said AG Healey. “Far too often, workers do not come forward and are not aware of their rights under the law. These innovative clinics are an opportunity for workers to directly connect with advocates and attorneys, so that they can ensure they are getting paid the wages they are owed.”

Volunteer lawyers, law students, interpreters and workers’ rights advocates will be on hand to educate workers about their rights, draft demand letters or prepare a small claims court complaints. If they are helpful in documenting complaints, workers should bring pay stubs, time sheets, letters and emails from their employers.


WHAT:          Wage Theft Legal Clinic  


            WHEN:          MONDAY, November 14
                                    4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

WHERE:       Suffolk Law School 
                        120 Tremont St., Boston

            The AG’s Office’s community partners for the clinics include: Greater Boston Legal Services Inc., Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, Justice at Work, Lawyers for Affordable Justice, Suffolk Law School, Volunteer Lawyers Project, Brazilian Worker Center, Brazilian Women’s Group, Chinese Progressive Association and the MetroWest Worker Center.

The AG’s Fair Labor Division is responsible for enforcing state laws regulating the payment of wages, including prevailing wage, minimum wage and overtime as well as some of the newest workplace protections such as earned sick time leave and the domestic workers’ law.

            On Labor Day, the AG’s Office issued its first-ever Labor Day report which revealed that in fiscal year 2016, the Fair Labor Division received more than 6,000 complaints – up 33 percent from the previous year – and issued 423 citations against employers. In addition to hosting the clinic series, the AG’s Office is addressing the rise in wage theft by strategically targeting enforcement efforts against problematic employers in specific industries, including commercial cleaning, construction, health care, restaurants and staffing agencies.

            In conjunction with the release of the Labor Day report, the AG’s Office revealed a revamped workplace rights website with a new design and innovative features, including searchable public data and content in various languages. The easy-to-navigate website allows workers to better understand their rights and for employers, their obligations under state law. 

The following clinic is scheduled for Dec. 12. The event is open to the public and is being offered free of charge.