November 14, 2016 -This month’s Buzz focuses on the important work being done by Legal Aid’s Wage Dispute Project in ensuring that employees who have disputes with their employers resulting from wages they are owed due either to non-payment, underpayment or misclassification of their employment status receive the funds to which they are entitled under the law.
The Project, which was established in December 2012 by a Resolution of the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners, demonstrates a successful collaboration between the county, the courts, the business community, PEACE (People Engaged in Active Community Efforts) and the Legal Aid Society. These groups came together in early 2012 after much discussion and debate to help draft and support a county resolution condemning wage theft and supporting the county’s contracting with the Legal Aid Society for a one year pilot project. After the first year of the project the partners came together and expressed to the County Commission that the program had proved highly successful in protecting low-income workers from wage theft and that it should be continued. Additionally, PEACE, together with the business community, urged the Commission to increase funding for the Project, so additional staff could be hired to move cases more quickly through the legal process, thus helping victims receive the wages they are owed in a timely manner.
The Wage Dispute Project is an example of a Legal Aid program that is able to achieve successful outcomes for low-income workers through essential community partnerships.
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