Asbestos Workers File Unpaid Wages Class Action Lawsuit

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Bethesda, MA: Employees listed with the WMS staffing agency in Bethesda, who work with asbestos and other toxic materials, have filed an employment class action lawsuit alleging they were victims of "intentional schemes to deny them wages."

WMS provides temporary staff to worksites and contractors to work in asbestos removal, as well as mold and lead removal, the plaintiffs contend.

Filed October 22, the lawsuit states that WMS Solutions, which has offices in Baltimore and Bethesda, has violated state and federal regulations by making employees pay for job-related equipment and training out-of-pocket, and has not paid them for time spent in required training courses.

Class members are seeking unpaid wages and the costs of training programs, physicals and personal protection equipment that the company is required by law to provide to employees at no cost, the complaint states.

Marvin Blandon, one of the named plaintiffs in the lawsuit said he has been forced to pay hundreds of dollars just to make sure he doesn't get sick from his work, explaining that he has been required to pay for specialty training, equipment and trips to the doctor, all of which are required to ensure job safety.

According to the lawsuit, WMS deducted $110 from Blandon's wages in 2011, for a Washington, DC, asbestos license fee, and may have made other unauthorized deductions from his wages during his employment with them. Blandon further claims he has paid approximately $300 for annual asbestos refresher course fees, as well as about $32 for a respirator he is required to wear when performing asbestos abatement work.

To date, over 30 WMS workers have joined the asbestos employment class action lawsuit, however hundreds of workers may be affected.

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