History

1989

In 1989, a team led by LAS-ELC won a state appellate court ruling establishing AIDS and HIV status as a disability protected by state employment laws and the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

1987

In 1987, LAS-ELC led the settlement of a major class action on behalf of women and minorities who had been denied jobs and promotions by the San Francisco Fire Department (Photo credit: San Francisco Public Library.)  

1967

In 1967, LAS-ELC won the first-ever federal grant to provide free legal services to indigent criminal defendants after the U.S. Supreme Court recognized that as a constitutional right in 1965 (left, a criminal proceeding in San Francisco’s Hall of Justice on the day the building opened in 1962.)(Photo credit: San Francisco Public Library)

1943

Returning veterans who needed help integrating back into work and life at home swelled LAS-ELC’s caseload still further. By 1943, it had handled 64,403 cases in all, an average of 2,385 per year since its founding. (Photo credit: San Francisco Public Library)

1926

By 1926, the organization was serving an average of 900 clients per year; the caseload rose still further in 1930s as the Great Depression took hold. (Photo credit: San Francisco Public Library)  

1916

Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center has been providing crucially necessary free legal services to low-income people for more than a century.  (Photo credit: LAS-ELC archives, San Francisco Public Library)  

2014

LAS-ELC helps 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

With co-counsel, LAS-ELC wins first Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling applying Title IX in K-12 schools (Ollier v. Sweetwater), requiring that girls at Castle Park High School in Chula Vista, Calif., have equal access to athletic opportunities. 

2014

Cosponsors 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

LAS-ELC wins a ruling California Supreme Court ruling 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 the worker used a false Social Security number to obtain his job.

2014

LAS-ELC adds Workers' Rights Clinic location in Woodland to serve Davis/Sacramento area, in addition to San Francisco, Berkeley, Fresno and Santa Ana (Orange County).

2013

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

2013

Senate Bill 400, cosponsored by LAS-ELC, is signed into law. It prohibits employers from discriminating against employees because they are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. And it requires employers to provide reasonable safety accommodations to survivors at work.

2013

LAS–ELC reaches a settlement including broad injunctive relief with the retailer Abercrombie & Fitch. A U.S. District Court judge had ruled that the employer violated a Muslim employee's civil rights by requiring her to remove her religious headscarf at work.

2013

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

2013

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

2012

The Workers’ Rights Clinic adds locations in Fresno and Santa Ana (Orange County).

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 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

LAS-ELC and co-counsel achieve two major settlements — one on behalf of 18 Long Beach hotel workers who were denied meal and rest breaks, and the other on behalf of 130 South Bay nail salon workers who were denied wages and subjected to discrimination on the basis of their national origin.

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