What's New

Mothers in the Workforce: The Challenges of Child Care and Paid Leave

April 23, 2012

As more working mothers are—and remain—in the workforce, the issues of paid leave and equal pay for women have become more and more prominent.  Today, three quarters of women entering the workforce will become pregnant at least once while employed, and a  large proportion of them will remain in the workforce following childbirth.

However, the United States is one of the only developed nations that does not have a policy that mandates that paid leave be available when a child gets sick and a parent has to miss work to care for them.  Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center has a history of supporting legislation to address these issues as well as providing direct services to women facing discrimination in the workplace or needing assistance to secure the leave to which they are entitled.Read more

A Video Introduction to the Workers' Rights Disability Law Clinic

November 20, 2011 Still from the Recorder video about the Disability Law Clinic

Watch a video report from The Recorder on the newly launched Workers’ Rights Disability Law Clinic, at the Ed Roberts Clinic in Berkeley. The new Clinic is a project of the Legal Aid Society–Employment Law Center and the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund and is now providing a full array of free counseling, advice, support, referral and employment-related legal services to workers and job seekers with disabilities every Tuesday night.

Watch the video

California Supreme Court Grants Review of Anti-Immigrant Worker Decision

November 17, 2011

On Wednesday, November 16, 2011, the California Supreme Court agreed to review a lower-court opinion in a civil rights case that will have a broad impact on the rights of immigrant workers in California.

In its Petition for Review to the California Supreme Court, the LAS–ELC argued that the lower court had ignored well-established laws ensuring that all workers are fully protected by California’s labor and employment laws but also U.S. Supreme Court precedent preventing employers from evading responsibility for violating their workers’ rights simply because they may find evidence of unrelated employee wrongdoing. All seven California Supreme Court justices voted in favor of reviewing the case.

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Laundromat Worker Sues for Wage Violations

Worker labored over 12 hour days for $2 an hour

A former solo laundromat attendant in Oakland is suing her employer, claiming gross violations of minimum wage and overtime laws. The plaintiff claims that she frequently worked over 12 hours a day for six and sometimes seven days in a row for as little as $2 an hour. “If proven, this would fall under the very definition of ‘wage theft’,” said Charlotte Noss, Skadden Fellow at The Legal Aid Society–Employment Law Center. “We would have an unscrupulous employer taking advantage of a hard working employee and paying her next to nothing—with no regard to state or federal labor laws whatsoever.”

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Sharon Terman

We are very pleased to announce that Legal Aid Society–Employment Law Center Senior Staff Attorney Sharon Terman is the recipient of this year’s Stanford Law School Miles L. Rubin Public Interest Award. The Award “recognizes an alumnus/a whose outstanding work has advanced justice and social change in the lives of vulnerable populations.”

Sharon’s entire career has been focused on advancing social justice. She worked at an array of public interest organizations as a law student; she accepted a Skadden Fellowship in 2005 to work in the LAS–ELC Gender Equity Program; and remained as a Staff Attorney where she now directs the LAS–ELC Work and Family Project.

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Governor Signs Bills Protecting Workers

This week, Governor Brown signed several important bills that protect the rights of low-wage workers, including:

  • SB 299—Protecting Health Care Coverage for Pregnant Women and New Mothers
  • AB 1236—Prohibiting the Mandated Use of the E-Verify System by Private Employers in California
  • AB 1403—Recovering Costs of Court Interpreters for Indigent Persons
  • AB 22—Curtailing Use of Job Applicant Credit Checks
  • SB 459—Increasing Penalties for Willful Misclassification of Employees as Independent Contractors

The LAS–ELC strongly supported these bills.

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LAS-ELC Staff Attorney Explains Meal Break Laws on Radio Show

Fernando Flores of LAS–ELC’s Wage and Hour Enforcement Litigation Program (WageHELP) discusses legally mandated meal and rest breaks on KPCC’s AirTalk. The conversation comes as the California Supreme Court weighs the same issues in Brinker Restaurant Corp. et al. v. Superior Court of San Diego County. Listen to the episode

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Disability Workshop In Spanish

The Worker’ Rights Disability Law Clinic will host a free public workshop in Spanish:

Reasonable Accommodation and the Interactive Process
Tuesday, November 22 at 7pm
Ed Roberts Campus adjacent to the Asby BART Station
Osher Room (Ground Floor)
3075 Adeline St., Berkeley, CA 94703

For more information, please call 415-864-8848 or email wrdlc@las-elc.org. If you are requesting communication services, please notify us 5 days in advance.

The Workers’ Rights Disability Law Clinic is sponsored by the Legal Aid Society–Employment Law Center and the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund.

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Girls playing soccer

In order to promote the health, well-being, education, and employment opportunities for low-income girls in grades K–12, the Legal Aid Society–Employment Law Center has established a new project: Fair Play for Girls in Sports.

Helping to make this possible is a generous grant from John and Terry Levin and the Jay and Rose Phillips Family Foundation of California. This gift is to fund a two-year Fellowship named after John and Terry Levin. We are pleased to announce that Tamika Butler has been selected as the Fellow.

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Professor Pam Karlan to serve as Special Counsel to Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center

The Legal Aid Society–Employment Law Center is very pleased to announce that Professor Pam Karlan, one of the nation’s preeminent constitutional law experts, will serve as Special Counsel to the organization.

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