What's New

Workers' Rights Clinic Opened in Orange County

The Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center has added Orange County to the list of its Workers’ Rights Clinic sites. The Orange County Workers’ Rights Clinic is a collaboration of Legal Aid, the Legal Aid Society of Orange County (LASOC) and UC Irvine School of Law.  The Orange County Clinic is housed at LASOC and is staffed by students from UC Irvine School of Law, attorneys from Legal Aid, and volunteer attorneys from the local bar.  Initially operating every other Tuesday during the law semester, the Clinic will provide free legal services to low-wage workers, including service industry workers, in Orange County who face a range of workplace problems including unpaid wages and overtime, health and safety violations and discrimination.

EEOC Publishes Factsheet for Survivors of Domestic Violence

This Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has published a new fact sheet describing the ways in which federal anti-discrimination laws protect survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking at work.  The EEOC district offices are also now conducting trainings to community groups on this important topic.  To request a training, contact an EEOC outreach coordinator.

Legal Aid Society – Employment Law Center’s Project SURVIVE helps survivors of abuse preserve their jobs while they take time off to seek court relief and services, obtain the accommodations they need, and fight discrimination so they can remain economically independent and safe.  

“We are thrilled that the EEOC is taking steps to inform and protect survivors of violence” said Julia Parish, project attorney.  “Vulnerable workers should not have to choose between safety for themselves and their children and maintaining their jobs.”Read more

Project Attorney Charlotte Noss Appointed to San Francisco Wage Theft Task Force

LAS-ELC Project Attorney Charlotte Noss has been appointed to serve on this first-ever San Francisco Wage Theft Task Force.   This new policy making body was formed by the Board of Supervisors to efficiently organize city resources in the fight against wage theft. 

Wage Theft occurs when employers fail to pay workers the wages they are due.  These violations of wage and hour laws are rampant across the country, even in San Francisco.  This city has the highest minimum wage in the country and its own labor enforcement agency, yet workers in San Francisco still experience wage theft in extremely high numbers.

The Task Force is the next step in a very successful Campaign to End Wage Theft in San Francisco.  The Campaign, organized by the SF Progressive Workers Alliance (PWA), achieved the unanimous passage of the Wage Theft Ordinance in 2011 to enhance the city’s Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (OLSE) efforts to combat wage theft. Read more

LAS-ELC Welcomes New Staff in Language Rights, Gender Equity, and Communications

The Legal Aid Society–Employment Law Center is very pleased to welcome three new staff members: Marsha Chien, Skadden Fellow in the National Origin, Immigration, and Language Rights Program; Kim Turner, the John and Terry Levin Fellow for the Fair Play for Girls in Sports Project; and Sara Feldman, Communications Manager.

We are delighted that Marsha, Kim, and Sara have chosen to bring their talents, skills and passion for justice to the LAS–ELC in service of the growing numbers of low wage clients in urgent need of assistance.Read more

Legal Aid Staff Give Keynotes at Title IX Conference

The Fair Play for Girls in Sports team, Elizabeth Kristen, Tamika Butler (former Levin Fellow), and Kim Turner (current Levin Fellow), recently attended the Title IX at 40 conference hosted by the Western Society for Physical Education of College Women in Pacific Grove, California. Over ninety years old, the Western Society is comprised of educators, researchers, and practitioners from eleven states and Canada and is devoted to enhancing women’s pursuits in athletics and human movement in higher education. Elizabeth and Tamika delivered keynote presentations on Title IX, AB 2404, and the work of Fair Play to ensure K-12 girls of color in low income communities equally reap the benefits of Title IX. For more information about Fair Play for Girls in Sports click here.      

Employees Denied Meal and Rest Breaks by HEI Hotels and Resorts Reach $130,000 Settlement Affirming Workers’ Rights

Demonstrating that employers who do not respect the law will be held to account, eighteen hotel employees reached a $130,000 settlement with HEI Hotels and Resorts over denial of meal and rest breaks required by California law.  The settlement arose from claims filed with the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement by employees of the Hilton Long Beach and Executive Meeting Center, owned and managed by HEI.Read more

LAS-ELC Joins Groups in Applauding Revised FEHC Pregnancy Regulations

In a press release on December 6th, 2012, in concert with a coalition of women's and civil rights organizations, Legal Aid commended the Fair Employment and Housing Commission (FEHC) for approving revised pregnancy regulations. When these regulations become effective on December 30, 2012, they will clarify the legal requirement that employers provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant women, such as chairs, frequent bathroom breaks, and assistance with heavy lifting.Read more

New Regulations Affirm Rights of Californians With Disabilities

Underscoring California’s role as a leader in advancing the rights of individuals with disabilities, regulations implementing the disability provisions of the Fair Employment and Housing Act were approved by the Office of Administrative Law on December 20, 2012.  Effective December 31, 2012, the new rules clarify the protections provided by state and federal statutes, which prohibit disability discrimination and require affirmative steps to accommodate and integrate persons with disabilities.  The updated rules represent the first major overhaul of the disability regulations in more than 20 years.Read more

New California Laws Strengthen Worker Protections

The beginning of 2013 saw the enactment of a host of new employment laws in California, some of which strengthen important protections for workers.  Among them is AB 1964, the Workplace Religious Freedom Act of 2012, which went into effect on January 1, 2013.  The bill, introduced by California Assembly Member Mariko Yamada, reinforces the state's requirement that employers reasonably accommodate the religious observances of their employees.  (For more on related litigation by LAS-ELC, look here.) Read more

Join us for the 2013 Women's Policy Summit on January 17th

On January 17th, LAS-ELC will be co-sponsoring the 2013 Women's Policy Summit, Advancing Women's Health, Wealth & Power, in Sacramento.  Join us for a unique opportunity to learn what state legislators and leading advocates identify as top priorities for improving the health and well-being of California's diverse communities of women and girls.Read more