Today, February 5th, 2013, marks 20 years since the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was signed into law by President Bill Clinton. The FMLA was enacted to provide eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year to recover from a serious health condition, care for a seriously ill family member, or bond with a new child.
20 years on, millions of workers with family caregiving responsibilities have been aided by this historic law, no longer having to choose between work and family. However, FMLA’s protections do not go far enough and do not extend to all those who need them.
On January 26, 2013, staff attorney Mike Gaitley (far right in picture) journeyed to Watsonville, California as part of a “Justice Bus” legal clinic for low-wage workers. The Justice Bus, a project of One Justice, brings law students to rural locations in California where access to legal services is often limited.
Since Title IX was passed over forty years ago, participation in high schools sports by girls has grown from below 300,000 to over 3 million. But not all girls are reaping the long-term benefits of being involved with athletics, including greater success in academics and higher wages in employment.
Both President Obama and a bipartisan group of Senators unveiled plans for overhauling our nation’s immigration system this week, taking an important first step toward much needed comprehensive immigration reform. We are encouraged that our leaders are considering a pathway to citizenship and that the President proposes recognizing the rights of same-sex families for immigration purposes. If reform is done right, it will bring millions of immigrant workers out of the shadows while strengthening our economy and our communities.
We are thrilled to announce that the Vietnamese American Bar Association of Northern California (VABANC) has awarded the annual VABANC Public Interest Fellowship to the Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center and Betty Duong. The Fellowship funds a recent law graduate to provide legal services and advocacy to the Vietnamese American community and other underserved, underrepresented communities.
In 2012, with the support of the American Bar Association, the California Legislature enacted AB 2122, a law requiring that the administrator of the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) provide testing accommodations to test-takers with disabilities who need them, and to cease its practice of “flagging” LSAT scores achieved with accommodations.
January is Trafficking Awareness Month, a good time to think about how to identify victims of this terrible human rights violation and how best to advocate for them. According to the International Labor Organization, over three-quarters of the people trafficked across the globe are estimated to be involved in forced labor. They are extracting, harvesting, or producing different goods in countries worldwide. Even here in the U.S., these individuals toil in the shadows without freedom or access to justice.Read more
This past Sunday, November 18th, Senior Staff Attorney and Disability Rights Program Director Claudia Center debated libertarian Cato Institute's Walter Olson on the value of the Americans with Disabilities Act. During the debate, entitled "Is the Americans with Disabilities Act a Net Positive for the Workplace and for Society?", Claudia explained that the ADA provides full citizenship to people with disabilities and gives them some important tools to navigate an array of social and physical spaces. Read more
Legal Aid Society – Employment Law Center is proud to celebrate Transgender Awareness week. We join LGBT centers, nonprofit organizations, and individuals across the country in calling attention to key issues affecting the transgender community. Read more
The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices of the U.S. Department of Justice—Civil Rights Division is accepting comments as it prepares to develop guidelines on the topic of employer self-audits of I-9 forms. Comments can be submitted by email to: Osc.Engagement@usdoj.gov, and must be received by Friday, November 9, 2012.
The OSC is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. § 1324b, which prohibits discrimination in hiring, firing, or recruitment or referral for a fee that is based on an individual’s national origin or citizenship status. The statute also prohibits unfair documentary practices during the employment eligibility verification process (I-9 verification process) on the basis of citizenship status or national origin, and retaliation or intimidation on these grounds.Read more