DC Employment Justice Center
We work to secure, protect and promote workplace justice in the D.C. metro area.
For more information, visit www.dcejc.org.
New Campaign Campaigns
Mia Birk, Play Fair: Bikeshare Owes Backpay & BenefitsMia, do you remember when you shipped us free copies of your book, Joyride: Pedaling Toward a Healthier Planet? It was inspiring to read that we must, "See the bicycle as a tool for empowerment and social change, not just sport or transportation." We couldn't agree more. However, the title left some of us wondering where we fit into that “healthier planet” as we worked without healthcare, doing dangerous jobs on busy streets and in a filthy warehouse by the Superfund section of Southwest DC. Given our situation, we were surprised to discover that Alta repeatedly signed a Federal contract with DDOT, agreeing to pay specific prevailing wages and health & welfare benefits to all Capital Bikeshare workers in compliance with the McNamara-O'Hara Service Contract Act. These wages and benefits apply to all workers under the contract regardless of full or part-time status (29 C.F.R. § 4.176). We helped build Alta's flagship bikesharing program in DC and we're proud to see Alta landing big contracts all over the USA as a result of our hard work: Citi Bike in New York, Divvy in Chicago, Hubway in Boston; Puget Sound Bikeshare in Seattle; San Francisco, Columbus, Baltimore, Portland... It would be a shame to see bad labor practices pollute the growth of such a socially and environmentally important industry. Mia, it's time for Alta Bicycle Share to play fair and set an example as a leader in good green jobs. Here's how: 1) Honor the Alta-DDOT contracts and immediately pay full back-pay for all unpaid wages and unpaid health & welfare benefits. 2) Comply with the letter and the spirit of the Service Contract Act, from here on out. 3) Commit to paying strong living wages and benefits to Bikeshare workers at every Alta-operated Bikesharing program from New York City to the San Francisco Bay. We trust that you will take prompt action to address these challenges as we all pedal together towards a sustainable future. Capital Bikeshare Workers past & present, Samuel D. Swenson 9/2011-8/2012 Bernard F. Smith 8/2010-9/2012 Omar Estrada 10/2010-10/2012 Spencer Turner 10/2010-10/2012 Anibal Apunte 4/2011-7/2012 Scott Brumbaugh 11/2011-4/2013 Jamal Hicks 2011 Khalil Brown 2011 Jeff Bertolet 2012-present Fhar Miess 7/2011-present Greg Washington 2011-present Zeek Manago 3/2012-present John Farmer 6/2012-present Kermit Demus 8/2012-present Douglas Tyrone Jones 1/2012-present Robert Apunte 2011-present * 2 current long-time workers asked to sign anonymously Kevin Gordon, 4/2013-present Gerald Sinclair, 7/2012-present Veltrick Copeland, present Jason Frantz, Bike Checker, 2012-present Alejandro Fuentes1,634 of 2,000 SignaturesCreated by Samuel Swenson
Bubbles Salons: Give employees a 30 day notice before being firedMy name is Blanca de Leon. I started working at the Bubbles Salon located at 205 Pennsylvania Ave NW on March 9th, 2009 and worked there for 6 and a half years. I’m a stylist specializing in cuts and colors, as well as all areas relating to beauty. When I first started working at Bubbles, there were things about the company that I didn’t agree with but I stayed when I started to get to know the clients who are the best clients I’ve had in my whole career. One of the main issues was the way the management at Bubbles treated the staff, some better than others. Every time the Latino workers asked for something, they wouldn't listen to us. They even told us that we weren’t allowed to speak Spanish. There was also discrimination in who got the best appointments. Everyone except for the Latinos were given new clients, but they only gave us new clients when there were extra. But the hardest thing for me was that even though another non-Latino employee was allowed to use a mat under her styling chair, I was told that I wasn’t allowed to have one. I need the mat to help alleviate my back pain because I am on my feet all day. I told my managers about my back condition and the medication that I take to help it. I also asked them for something in writing about why I wasn’t allowed to have the mat even though another employee was, but they never gave me anything. On August 26th, I went to work and my managers called me in for a meeting. When I got there they said “We have bad news for you.” They told me that I hadn’t listened to my manager when I was told to remove the mat I used for back pain. Then they told me that I was fired. I asked if I could have 30 days so that I could look for a new job, but they refused. I wasn’t even allowed to finish the day with the rest of the clients I had scheduled. They only gave me half an hour to pick up my things and go. I filed a claim at the DC Office of Human Rights because I believe my employer discriminated against me. In six and a half years, I never had a single client complaint against me. I was a good coworker to everyone and I believe my termination was unjust. Being fired affected my life a lot. I am a single mother and I need to work to support my family. I suffered significant emotional distress after being so suddenly and unjustly fired. They must think that you don’t eat, that you don’t pay rent. Ratner Companies, which owns Bubbles Salons, owns over 1,000 salons in 16 states. I’m speaking out so that others won't have to go through what I did. Please demand that Bubbles establish a policy that requires that employees be given 30 days notice before being fired so that they can look for another job.49 of 100 SignaturesCreated by Blanca de Leon