Income Saved for Legal Aid client
Legal Aid attorney Carol Eisenstat was helping Dwain Staples with his unemployment benefits. For almost 30 years, Mr. Staples had worked as a skycap for a Cleveland Hopkins Airport contractor. While reviewing Mr. Staples’ pay stubs, Ms. Eisenstat noticed some strange deductions. She referred Mr. Staples to her colleague Katie Laskey-Donovan, an attorney who recently joined Legal Aid’s Northeast Ohio Wage Project.
Ms. Laskey-Donovan investigated and found that Mr. Staples’ employer was only supposed to deduct a one-time $100 union initiation fee in four $25 installments. The employer however, continued to deduct $25 from each paycheck for over four years.
A union representative, when contacted by Ms. Laskey-Donovan, was apologetic. He issued a check for $2,268.05 in Mr. Staples’ name. The union, which has workers across the United States, is now investigating whether other employees may have had incorrect deductions taken from their paychecks.
Mr. Staples is currently unemployed and will put the money toward paying his bills. When asked about his attorney Ms. Laskey-Donovan, he replied simply, “She’s wonderful.”
The Northeast Ohio Wage Project is funded through grants to Legal Aid from The Thomas H. White Foundation and the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation.