Shame! This is Why Prince George’s County is considered a den of thieves – Several kids fail to receive paychecks.

leggettbaker001

Rushern Baker III

Saturday July 21, 2018: Prince George’s County Parents are up in arms after Rushern Baker regime was caught red handed violating child labor provisions. This happened  after the county failed to either pay students in summer camp program timely or paid them less than they were supposed to. The expose begun with One parent who started a revolutionary post expressing her frustration on the illegal scheme. The post highlighted the county’s mismanagement of resources during the ongoing youth summer programme. It was posted by Joan Ogburn-Hyson who expressed her frustration by stating the following:

I have two children working in the Summer Youth @ Work Program for Prince George’s County. They have to work a month before receiving their first paycheck and required to submit direct deposit forms. Today was payday and several of the kids did not receive paychecks (including my daughter) because someone lost the paperwork. This is a terrible experience for a student.”

Based on the discussion, a number of issues where brought to light which left the county government in a new low and in violation of child labor. This is not the first time these violations have happened. Last year similar fiasco ensued unabated in the county. Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker for the first time responded by stating that, “We are well aware of some payroll problems with our Summer Youth Enrichment Program participants. We are working diligently to quickly rectify the situation. We apologize to the students and parents for this inconvenience.”

Another parent tried to send in a follow up question and it was ignored by Mr. Baker. We must embrace vision of equality, justice, freedom and multiracial democracy, built on the premise that all people are created equal. Here in Prince George’s county, too much of politics seems to reject the very concept of objective truth. There is utter loss of shame among many political leaders in this county including union leaders where they’re caught in a lie, and instead of owning to the issues without reservations, they just double down, and they lie some more while inviting their friends to help cover up the misconduct and fraud. This way they can continue their illegal agenda. “Its not right and it’s what is occurring now,” stated one parent interviewed for this article.

Clearly there are serious issues which continues to affect the county and unless they are addressed, the Prince George’s county will continue to be a magnet of corruption many years to come as highlighted in this case.  There are reports that, one of the instructors mentioned that the program was supposed to alleviate nepotism because the employees were hiring family members. One parent wondered if “losing” apps was the workaround behind the illegal scheme.

Activist Tommi Makila summed up the best when he stated the following: This is such a typical scenario for our county. All in all, this is a really great program and I’m grateful that our son was able to get a summer job through it. (His job is with a private company, so he’s not impacted by this county payroll issue.) However, like so many other entities and programs in our county, the execution of this program is sorely lacking. Our son went through the training portion of the program and the placement, and all along management of the program was chaotic, communications lacking or confusing, and given timelines were not followed. This is all more ironic considering that the main point of the training portion was to teach the kids how to perform in a workplace, to do your job well, be responsible, etc. As with so many other entities/programs in our county (including our schools), we could make such great strides if we just found a magic formula to make all people perform their jobs properly and not have the minimal-effort, “good enough” attitude be so pervasive. Too often our county leaders and managers talk a good game, but follow-through and execution is poor.”

It is clear from the experiences here that, Equality is a term largely thrown around in political discourse. However, it is an ideal that is largely out of reach, particularly within the United States’ education system and in Prince George’s County in particular. Violators of the child labor provisions are subject to a civil money penalty of up to $10,000 for each employee who was the subject of a violation. Employers who willfully or repeatedly violate the minimum wage or overtime pay requirements are subject to a civil money penalty of up to $1,000 for each violation, according to the United States Department of Labor. Read more here.  

Reaction on Facebook was swift with several parents, administrators and other community stakeholders highlighting their experiences. Below is a sample: 

Felicia Meadows Shameful”

Dawn MsWarddaboss Ward That system has some serious flaws this also happened to my son a year ago then he went to work for six flags and he has been there every since.”

Quantane L Higginbotham “Is this how we are teaching our kids? 😠😠😡”

Joan Ogburn-Hyson Yep, not to want to work or volunteer in this county….terrible.”

Crystal Jewel That is crazy, DC children get paid after the 2nd week (like normal jobs)”

Joan Ogburn-Hyson Right Crystal Jewel. If we can’t stand for something like our own kids, then we do fall for everything and our children suffer. If it were any adult they would be have a problem getting their money.”

Carolyn Grobes That’s CRAZY and the system needs to be updated. WHO can afford to work a job where they have to wait a month before they get paid? My child worked for the summer youth program in PGC a few summers and I was a student worker in registrations the whole time I went to the University of Maryland and don’t remember either of us having to wait a month to get paid 25 years apart!”

Joan Ogburn-Hyson “That’s the new rule. They said that all new County employees have to do so too when they start a job. In this economy, I am not sure who can do that anymore.”

Carolyn Grobes Joan Ogburn-Hyson in any economy that would be hard to do. PGC has to get it together, in 2018 and modern technology there’s NO reason to make anyone wait a month to get their first paycheck.”

Kashey Mynorr I heard this happened last year too. I hope they get it together soon.”

Taiwanna Anthony “Not surprised”
Rebecca Anderson Muse PGC Parents and residents we have to remain focused on putting pressure on our local officials and service providers. It is the ONLY way to improve the county. Do not let up on this, from the comments multiple years of the same issue sounds like a norm with no plan to improve. FB is a good start to spread the word but continue to reach higher because with everything folks will get tired and change will happen. Sorry this is happening to our youth in the county.”
Quantane L Higginbotham“Exactly!!!”
Stephanie Peete My son is also in the program this summer and they sent the kids a email yesterday telling telling them if they didn’t receive a paycheck today to call the youth@work supervisor. So they knew in advance time that some kids were not going to get paid today. SMH”
Denise M. Joseph It’s definitely disappointing but I’ve had this happen at a full time job. It definitely builds character but I’m sure sure it leaves a bad taste in your nouth. They’ll get through this.”
Joan Ogburn-Hyson Mike Robinson she was crying and saying they are never going to pay me. I worked all this time for nothing.”
Joan Ogburn-Hyson “Well, it’s 8:19pm, I have made 3 phone calls to HR from 1pm to 4pm and got voice mail. My daughter came home with an e-mail sent to coordinators at 12:38pm notifying coordinators of the problem. They didn’t even know until the kids starting calling. My son’s check was short was short too.”
Joan Ogburn-Hyson I am sorry, I can’t keep standing by while the county continues to abuse my kids and get away with it. It’s not okay. These kids have been working for a month. We just can’t keep standing by and letting things happen to our kids – what are we teaching them to be passive.”
Curtis Valentine Mike Robinson I was able to contact someone from the office, and they are working on it.”
Carolyn Grobes That’s terrible. PGC has so MANY problems it’s ridiculous!”
Carla Yvette My son took all the classes and passed the test and then didn’t get a job because his application didn’t “go through” though they completed them DURING the training classes. Smh”
Brée Nachelle I really am disappointed in this program. My son had the same issues. They never got his application.”
Carla Yvette Brée Nachelle “one of the instructors mentioned that the program was supposed to alleviate nepotism because the employees were hiring family members. I’m wondering if “losing” apps is the workaround. Smh”
Rushern L. Baker “We are well aware of some payroll problems with our Summer Youth Enrichment Program participants. We are working diligently to quickly rectify the situation. We apologize to the students and parents for this inconvenience.”
Carla Yvette Mr. Rushern L. Baker, can you do anything about students who fulfilled requirements but didn’t get a job this summer? Is there anyway they can get any type of priority for next years positions? I know of 2 other students who were not contacted besides my son. Brée Nachelle is the parent of one of them and she posted above.”
Brée Nachelle Carla Yvette thank you for thinking of me. My son will be going into his senior year. I’ll just be fighting to ensure his grades are in order for graduation, then I’m moving.”
Kashey Mynorr My son got an email from a company saying they were in receipt of his application and we’d hear from them soon. Then… nothing.”
Judy Mickens-Murray Its a really good program. The students will be paid in full. Hope pay glitches don’t hender the quality of the work experiences. Know students who gained a lot in the past.”
Joan Ogburn-Hyson WHAT, my son is cleaning at Largo High School were it is being treated for asbestos. What is good about that? Video coming shortly.”
Jerri Lyn Smoot While my child did receive a paycheck, it was short. He was very disappointed.”
Stephanie Peete Did your son complete the online blackboard assessments before he started at his work site? They were told if they didn’t complete the online assignments they wouldn’t get paid for the week of training. Several students didn’t get paid for training because they didn’t complete the online assignments.”
Stephanie Peete Rebecca Anderson Muse you’re welcome the communication with the program coordinators/instructors was really bad.”
Joan Ogburn-Hyson My son too, 6am to 4pm each day and this is what he got, terrible.”
Tommi Makila This is such a typical scenario for our county. All in all, this is a really great program and I’m grateful that our son was able to get a summer job through it. (His job is with a private company, so he’s not impacted by this county payroll issue.) However, like so many other entities and programs in our county, the execution of this program is sorely lacking. Our son went through the training portion of the program and the placement, and all along management of the program was chaotic, communications lacking or confusing, and given timelines were not followed. This is all more ironic considering that the main point of the training portion was to teach the kids how to perform in a workplace, to do your job well, be responsible, etc. As with so many other entities/programs in our county (including our schools), we could make such great strides if we just found a magic formula to make all people perform their jobs properly and not have the minimal-effort, “good enough” attitude be so pervasive. Too often our county leaders and managers talk a good game, but follow-through and execution is poor.”
Melissa Bradley Such a disservice to the kids who worked and expected to get paid. Not sure what is going on with our county (born and raised for over 50 years). If we can pay officials top salaries n the CEO a very generous severance pkg then our children who are making pennies should not have issues getting their monies. #childrenareourfuture 
#residentslivesmatter”Document

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