According to the New York Daily News, people who have been ordered to perform community service due to low-level criminal cases have filed a class action lawsuit against New York City, accusing it of unlawfully exposing free labor.
The lawsuit challenges a longstanding practice in which defendants sweep parks or clean highways as part of an arrangement known as adjournment in contemplation of dismissal (ACD), according to the News.
ACD is given to people in misdemeanor cases, and it requires defendants to stay out of trouble for six months or a year—after which their cases are dismissed or sealed. Plaintiffs in the lawsuit claim that the city is saving thousands of dollars per year by the work done by those involved in ACD cases.
The lawsuit states that many of the defendants are free of guilt and “remain clothed with a presumption of innocence, and are in no need of punishment, deterrence, or rehabilitation,” according to the News.
The ACD option is often given to defendants with no criminal records, who are involved in minor offenses. The News reported that nearly 88,000 or 28 percent of criminal cases city-wide involved an ACD.
Among those involved in the lawsuit is a man who was asked to clean the Cross Bay Bridge after he was arrested for being in the possession on an illegal knife, and a man who allegedly jumped a turnstile.
What Should I Do If I Am Being Exploited By an Organization or Business?
More attention is now being paid to cases involving “volunteers”, who are being exploited by companies, organizations or cities, who are used to perform functions that would normally require pay.
There are several ongoing wage and labor class action lawsuits right now across the country involving volunteers or interns. Laws exist in this country to ensure that employees are given compensation for the work they perform. If someone can prove that this is not occurring, he or she could seek compensation.
If you have questions about class action lawsuits and wage issues, please contact Gary S. Graifman, Esq. toll free at (800) 711-5258 to schedule a free initial consultation or complete the form on this page.
Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C. – Class Action Lawyers