People we serve

Legal Aid at Work ensures justice and dignity for low-income people in many ways.

Wage theft includes not being paid the minimum wage for all hours worked, not receiving overtime pay, and not being reimbursed for work-related expenses.

We empower workers in low-wage industries to attain economic security for themselves and their families by enforcing wage protections through litigation, administrative representation, and other advocacy. We offer free advice and assistance in filing a wage claim with the California Labor Commissioner.

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We advance the civil rights of people with disabilities in employment, education, and public services through brief services, information, individual litigation, and class actions. 

Our Workers’ Rights Disability Law Clinic and Disability Rights Helpline provide free, confidential legal advice and referrals for workers and job seekers with disabilities. We protect the civil rights of people with all types of disabilities by educating employers and promoting equality and reasonable accommodation in the workplace. And we ensure that people with disabilities in California have equal access to public facilities and to educational opportunities at public schools.

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We protect the rights of survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking to keep their jobs, take time off, and obtain accommodations while seeking safety or medical or legal help. We represent low-wage workers, provide community education, and advocate for policy change to expand survivors’ workplace rights.

We provide free confidential legal advice through our Survive Helpline.

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We spur schools and park and recreation departments to treat girls equally on and off the field, through litigation, technical assistance, training, and legislative advocacy. Focusing particularly on girls of color and girls who live in low-income communities, this work promotes the health, educational achievement, and future employment opportunities of girls.

Girls who play sports have higher self-esteem and greater physical fitness; they make healthier decisions about drugs, alcohol, and relationships; and they earn higher wages as adults in the workplace.

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We seek to end sex-based discrimination by advancing the rights of low-wage women and families, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals, military families and veterans, survivors of harassment as well as domestic and sexual violence, and other under-represented workers and students. 

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Directed by Legal Aid at Work, the coalition includes nonprofits, government agencies, and employers collaborating to improve the working conditions, equity, and health of pregnant women and new parents through public education, public policy development, and an award program that recognizes employers (just in San Francisco for now) for “excellence in health and gender equity.” This work has helped lead employers to improve policies covering tens of thousands of employees. 

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Our National Origin Program protects the employment rights of undocumented workers and those who face discrimination because of their ethnicity or the country they come from — or because of linguistic, religious, or other characteristics that are tied to their national origin. We litigate and engage in policy work and community education.

We also combat discrimination against non-native English speakers. Our Language Rights Project challenges unlawful English-only rules, English proficiency requirements, and accent discrimination in the workplace. We provide free information and advice. And we advocate for government agencies to provide greater language access.

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We seek racial justice and expanded employment opportunities for people of color through the enforcement of civil rights laws. Our program provides legal assistance to individuals and groups of employees who encounter barriers to employment, problems at work, or discriminatory hiring or employment practices because of their race.

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We provide legal advice and representation before the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board to people facing denials of unemployment benefits, allegations of false statements, overpayments by the Employment Development Department, and other challenges.

We ensure that our clients’ voices are heard at administrative agencies, in courts, and in the legislature, and we help shape unemployment insurance law.

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We protect the rights of pregnant women, new parents, and caregivers to time off work, paid leave, and workplace accommodations. We provide free confidential advice through our Work and Family Helpline, represent low-wage workers, engage in community education, and advocate for policy changes to expand work and family rights.

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