Read about our recent work below.

Elizabeth Kristen talks to Ms. Magazine about California’s Prohibition of “No Rehire” Clauses

Elizabeth Kristen, Director of LAAW's Gender Equity and LGBTQ Rights program, discusses the importance of California's 2019 ban on "no rehire" clauses, which prohibits departing employees from seeking future employment with an employer or an employer’s related entities. “'It was awful to have clients sign these because they could basically be locked out of an entire industry,' says Kristen. 'It has been very helpful to have really clear guidance on no-rehire clauses because it was so bad for workers in low-wage jobs and so potentially retaliatory.'”
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California’s Expansion of Job-Protected Family and Medical Leave under SB 1383: 5 Things Workers Should Know

In a major victory for California’s working families, Governor Newsom recently signed SB 1383, which expands the California Family Rights Act to cover smaller employers and will ensure that millions of Californians can now access Paid Family Leave and State Disability Insurance benefits without risking their jobs. Below are five key things that every worker … Continue reading “California’s Expansion of Job-Protected Family and Medical Leave under SB 1383: 5 Things Workers Should Know”

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New Chatbot Explains Workers’ Rights to Leave and Pay During COVID-19

Legal Aid at Work and Generation Spark are happy to introduce a new tool: “Advokat,” an AI-powered computer chatbot program that can help workers determine how they can keep their jobs and income when they are unable to work during the pandemic. The COVID-19 health crisis has caused many California workers to ask, “Can I … Continue reading “New Chatbot Explains Workers’ Rights to Leave and Pay During COVID-19”

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Governor Newsom Signs Historic Family and Medical Leave Expansion Bill

We are thrilled to announce that Governor Newsom signed SB 1383, authored by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson and championed by Legal Aid at Work. SB 1383 amends our state’s job-protected family and medical leave law, the California Family Rights Act, to cover all employers with 5 or more employees (down from 50) and aligns the definition … Continue reading “Governor Newsom Signs Historic Family and Medical Leave Expansion Bill”

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Berkeley Law Students Discuss their Experiences Aiding Workers During the COVID-19 Pandemic Through LAAW’s Workers’ Rights Clinic

Through virtual clinics via Zoom and phone, students at Berkeley Law have been able to assist low-income employees that have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic through participation in LAAW's Workers' Rights Clinic. "'Every night, we’re taking what they’re learning in law school and bringing it to the community,'" LAAW's Mike Gaitley says. “'This keeps them grounded in why they went to law school in the first place.'"
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George Warner Discusses Barriers Workers Face Collecting Unemployment Insurance with the San Francisco Chronicle

LAAW's George Warner discusses a recently released report on California's Employment Development Department (EDD) with the SF Chronicle. "'The report highlights a number of troubling realities of how the department currently operates,' said George Warner." The EDD issued the report alongside an announcement that the department has stopped taking new applications for unemployment benefits until October 5, 2020 "while it 'resets' itself to 'help prevent backlog growth.'"
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Statement on the Passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, by LAAW President Joan Graff

  As we mourn, with deep sadness, the death of our heroine Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and the loss of her passionate voice and inspiration we can think of her humble comment: “I would like to be remembered as someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the very best of … Continue reading “Statement on the Passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, by LAAW President Joan Graff”

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Governor Newsom Signs SB 1383, Landmark Bill to Ensure Equitable Access to Paid Family Leave

San Francisco (September 17, 2020) – In a major victory for California’s working families, Governor Newsom signed SB 1383, authored by Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara). It will ensure that millions of Californians can access critically needed Paid Family Leave and State Disability Insurance benefits without risking their jobs. This landmark bill implements the first … Continue reading “Governor Newsom Signs SB 1383, Landmark Bill to Ensure Equitable Access to Paid Family Leave”

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Bloomberg Discusses LAAW’s Case Against the State Bar on Behalf of Students with Disabilities

Bloomberg discusses Legal Aid at Work's case against the State Bar of California on behalf of students with disabilities who are forced to take the bar exam in person during the COVID-19 pandemic. "The trio of test takers argued they should be allowed to complete the exam online. They said the two-tiered system is 'unfair and dangerous' to disabled test takers 'forced to test in person and endure risks to their health and test performance.'"
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