We operate an in-house employment rights clinic where trained law students and supervising attorneys provide workers with confidential legal information, advice, and counseling about their rights in the workplace. Law students conduct initial intake interviews and then provide follow-up support and advocacy for workers.
In recent years, the clinic has recovered thousands of dollars in unpaid wages and helped workers file complaints with a range of government agencies and courts. Most of our clients are from Mexico, although we serve people from all over the world.
Since 2015, we have conducted intakes with more than 100 low-income immigrant workers. Each worker left with information about his or her workplace rights. In addition, the students often did extensive follow-up work and advocacy. Since August 2015, we have recovered more than $60,000 in unpaid wages. Some highlights of the multi-faceted advocacy of our students:
- Amanda Rutherford (Class of 2018) helped a worker begin the process of organizing his coworkers at a food preparation facility to join a labor union in order to advocate for better working conditions, including breaks, air conditioning, and access to water during their shifts.
- Alonzo Corral (Class of 2018) assisted a restaurant worker who was not paid for her last week of work to obtain her final week of wages.
- Felipe Guevara (Class of 2017) and Jessica Schulberg (Class of 2016) worked with two former employees of a cleaning company to obtain wages for several days of unpaid labor.
- A restaurant employee assisted by Jose Estrada (Class of 2016) and Jessica Schulberg (Class of 2016) obtained a $2,000 settlement for her unpaid overtime wages.
- Numerous WRC students assisted the National Labor Relations Board with a successful case on behalf of two clients who had been fired in retaliation for requesting better working conditions at their road paving job. The board found that the employer had violated the National Labor Relations Act by firing the workers, and ordered them to receive back wages and reinstatement to their positions. The opinion is available here (PDF).
- Araceli Rodriguez (Class of 2016) and Autum Kycia (Class of 2017) collaborated with Coalición de Derechos Humanos, a local community organization, to help a group of employees of a cleaning company obtain thousands of dollars in unpaid wages.