DENVER — A local union has filed a lawsuit against Denver Public Schools claiming the district violated an employer contract surrounding hazard pay.
The Association of Building, Grounds & Warehouse Workers filed the lawsuit today because the union alleges DPS denied ABGW workers from receiving hazard pay when they were required to work during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
The union says DPS classified ABGW workers as essential employees who were required to work throughout the COVID-19 closures from March 18 to Dec. 31, 2020 while other employees were not required to do so.
“We ensured that the schools continued to be maintained properly so that they would be safe for students. We risked our health and safety by doing this,” said Jamal Love, water treatment specialist and president of the ABGW. “We are disappointed that DPS, who had no problem designating us as ‘essential workers’ at the time, has continued to violate our contract agreement by not paying us properly.”
In a statement, Will Jones, the director of external communications for DPS, said the district is ready to provide details to the court of the “substantial efforts undertaken by the district to show care and appreciation for our employees.”
“This year, the district used its federal relief dollars to provide additional compensation to all of our staff for their dedicated efforts during the COVID pandemic,” the statement says.
Love says the ABGW will continue to hold DPS accountable until a solution is reached.