Press Releases

Second labor trafficking lawsuit against Walter and Carolyn Schumacher and their businesses filed by former “cross-cultural exchange” workers

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (June 15, 2018) — Workers recruited from Jamaica and other countries to work in hospitality businesses in Oklahoma on the J-1 exchange visitor visa program filed a federal labor trafficking lawsuit today, alleging they were induced to pay high recruitment fees and then paid less money than they had been promised, denied … Continue reading “Second labor trafficking lawsuit against Walter and Carolyn Schumacher and their businesses filed by former “cross-cultural exchange” workers”

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Statement of Joan Graff on the U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Epic Systems v. Lewis

The U.S. Supreme Court today issued a stunning decision, taking away the ability of workers to band together collectively to enforce their workplace rights. It did so by upholding the legality of “mandatory arbitration” clauses with class action waiver provisions. These provisions allow employers to circumvent the courts by forcing workers into closed-door proceedings where the deck is … Continue reading “Statement of Joan Graff on the U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Epic Systems v. Lewis”

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LAAW Lawsuit Exposes Vulnerabilities of Resident Managers: When Asking for Wages Effectively Leads to Your Eviction

San Francisco (March 21, 2018) — In San Francisco’s astronomically expensive housing market, legislators and housing activists have worked hard to prevent unjust evictions of low-income tenants. However, there is one group of people who can be left surprisingly unprotected: live-in resident managers whose bosses are also their landlords. When resident managers are fired, they … Continue reading “LAAW Lawsuit Exposes Vulnerabilities of Resident Managers: When Asking for Wages Effectively Leads to Your Eviction”

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LAAW President Joan Graff Receives “Woman of the Year” Award at State Capitol

(Sacramento, CA) – During the State Assembly’s Woman of the Year celebration at the State Capitol today, Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) honored attorney Joan Messing Graff for her half-century-long fight for equality and economic justice in the workplace. “The breadth of Joan’s work in fighting for low-wage workers is truly remarkable,” said Ting. “She … Continue reading “LAAW President Joan Graff Receives “Woman of the Year” Award at State Capitol”

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LAAW Program Supporting Parents in the Workplace Receives Prestigious $300,000 Grant from the Aspen Institute

San Francisco (February 21, 2018) — Legal Aid at Work (LAAW) has been awarded a $300,000 grant from the Aspen Institute to assist low-income working parents.  The grant was given in recognition of LAAW’s status as one of the six “boldest” organizations in the country supporting the economic security of working families. While California and … Continue reading “LAAW Program Supporting Parents in the Workplace Receives Prestigious $300,000 Grant from the Aspen Institute”

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New Legal Clinic for Low-Wage Workers Opens in San Bernardino

Legal Aid at Work and the Legal Aid Society of San Bernardino Team Up to Provide Free Legal Services in the Inland Empire

(San Bernardino, CA, February 6, 2018) — The Workers’ Right Clinic, devoted to addressing the employment issues of low-wage workers, has opened its doors at 588 West Sixth Street in San Bernardino. It runs from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of every month. People in need of assistance may either call … Continue reading “New Legal Clinic for Low-Wage Workers Opens in San Bernardino”

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At 90, Air Force veteran Helen James, finally gets her honorable discharge decades after the military expelled her for being a lesbian

  Sixty-three years after the Air Force forced her out in disgrace for being a lesbian, Helen Grace James, age 90, was finally awarded the honorable discharge she has long sought. Helen entered the military in 1952 as a radio operator on a base in Roslyn, N.Y., following in the footsteps of her father, an … Continue reading “At 90, Air Force veteran Helen James, finally gets her honorable discharge decades after the military expelled her for being a lesbian”

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Owner Of U.S.-Based Fishing Vessel Agrees To Precedent-Setting Settlement Over Allegations Of Human Trafficking, Abusive Labor Practices

After federal lawsuit alleged seamen were subjected to human trafficking and forced labor, ship’s owner agrees to new precedent-setting policies for informing workers of their rights under U.S. law

SAN FRANCISCO – Two Indonesian men have settled their claims against an American fishing boat captain whom they allege subjected them to forced labor and human trafficking. In a precedent-setting move for the U.S. commercial fishing industry, the ship’s owner also agreed to a code of conduct and to inform future seamen of their rights … Continue reading “Owner Of U.S.-Based Fishing Vessel Agrees To Precedent-Setting Settlement Over Allegations Of Human Trafficking, Abusive Labor Practices”

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Janitorial worker sues CleanNet, claiming widespread wage and hour, labor trafficking violations

"I lost my time, my money, my business, and my dream.” — plaintiff Luis Castillo

Luis Castillo, who worked as a janitor for CleanNet under a purported “franchise agreement,” filed a lawsuit today on behalf of everyone in his position across California, claiming that they were never truly “franchise” owners at all but, rather, employees of CleanNet — and entitled to basic protections under California wage and hour laws. “I … Continue reading “Janitorial worker sues CleanNet, claiming widespread wage and hour, labor trafficking violations”

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