History

“The work must not fail.” —Archbishop E. J. Hanna, 1916

Organizational Milestones

2014

In addition to its locations in San Francisco, Berkeley, Fresno and Santa Ana (Orange County), Legal Aid’s Workers’ Rights Clinic adds Sacramento/Davis to its roster of sites.

2014

Legal Aid sponsors AB 1522, which is signed into law to provide workers in California the guarantee of earned sick days, accruing one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, regardless of the size of the employer. 

2014

Together with co-counsel, Legal Aid establishes via the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that Sweetwater Union High School District is out of compliance with Title IX, therefore ensuring that girls at Castle Park High School are given equal access to athletic opportunities. 

2014

Legal Aid helps create and ensure passage of the San Francisco Retail Workers Bill of Rights, which gives more predictable schedules and greater opportunities for full time work to restaurant and retail workers. 

2014

Legal Aid wins a ruling from the California Supreme Court, in Salas v. Sierra Chemical Co., that an employer may not escape liability for its unlawful treatment of an allegedly undocumented worker by claiming that he used a false Social Security number to obtain his job.

2013

LAS–ELC reaches a settlement including broad injunctive relief with Abercrombie & Fitch, a major international retailer; the district court judge ruled that the employer violated federal civil rights laws by refusing to allow a Muslim employee to wear her religious headscarf at work.

2013

Senior Staff Attorney Christopher Ho is honored for his litigation on behalf of immigrants by Chinese for Affirmative Action.

2013

Legal Aid launches Jobs & Justice for Service Members, Veterans and Military Families, a project to provide employment-related legal services to those who have served in the military and their families.

2013

Senate Bill 770, sponsored by LAS–ELC, is signed into law. The bill expands Paid Family Leave to include caregiving for seriously ill siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, and parents-in-law.

2013

Senate Bill 400, sponsored by Legal Aid, is signed into law. The bill prohibits employers from discriminating against employees because they are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, and requires employers to provide reasonable safety accommodations to survivors at work.

2012

In addition to its locations in San Francisco, Berkeley and San Jose, the Workers’ Rights Clinic adds new locations in Fresno and Santa Ana (Orange County).

2012

Together with co-counsel, WageHELP achieves two major settlements—one on behalf of 18 Long Beach hotel workers who were denied meal and rest breaks, and another on behalf of 130 South Bay nail salon workers who were denied wages and subjected to national origin discrimination.

2012

LAS–ELC and co-counsel wins summary judgment in its class action law suit against the IRS and CalPERS; the district court agrees that the exclusion of gay and lesbian spouses and registered domestic partners from the CalPERS long-term care plan violates the equal protection guarantees of the U.S. Constitution.

2012

The district court grants final approval to a negotiated settlement achieved by LAS–ELC and co-counsel on behalf of a class of deaf and hard of hearing Home Depot workers.

2012

LAS–ELC and co-counsel win their bench trial against Sweetwater Union High School District—after ten days of testimony, the judge finds that the school district violated Title IX by failing to provide high school girls with equal treatment and benefits in athletics .

2011

Senior Staff Attorney Sharon Terman receives the Stanford Law School Miles L. Rubin Public Interest Award.

2011

LAS–ELC establishes the Wage and Hour Enforcement Litigation Program (WageHELP), a new program to provide representation in state and federal courts to low-wage workers with wage claims.

2011

Together with Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, LAS–ELC launches the Workers’ Rights Disability Law Clinic at the Ed Roberts Campus, an accessible transit-based community center in South Berkeley.

2010

LAS–ELC settles a groundbreaking action brought on behalf of a retail worker who was harassed by coworkers and supervisors when she transitioned on the job from male to female.

2010

LAS–ELC completes its tenth and final year advocating on behalf of Black shipyard workers in Mississippi who experienced racial harassment and discrimination for decades. A global settlement achieved company-wide changes in procedures regarding promotions and racial harassment.

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