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Delaware housing nonprofit accused of exploitation settles

March 25, 2019

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — A construction training program accused of using participants as free labor will pay the Delaware Department of Labor $55,000, most of which will go toward back pay.

The News Journal cites a settlement agreement signed Feb. 12 saying Interfaith Community Housing of Delaware will make monthly payments, in exchange for officials not pursuing claims of labor law violations or breach of contract.

The state launched an investigation last year after participants in Interfaith’s pre-apprenticeship program said they were made to work without pay as a form of “training.” The nonprofit resisted the state’s efforts to procure records. Many workers were formerly incarcerated and also misclassified as independent contractors.

Labor Secretary Cerron Cade says Interfaith has made satisfactory changes. Interfaith’s interim director, Darlene Sample, says it settled to avoid costly litigation.

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Information from: The News Journal of Wilmington, Del., http://www.delawareonline.com