Economic Justice News

Fifteen Puerto Rican Farmworkers File Lawsuit for Discrimination and Workplace Violations

Fifteen Puerto Rican farmworkers who were recruited to work in Michigan, housed in inhospitable conditions, paid and treated unfairly and were all fired after repeated comments comparing them to other Latino workers, filed a lawsuit charging discrimination and labor abuses in violation of state and federal statutes.

LatinoJustice Opens Satellite Office in Touro Law Center in Long Island

LatinoJustice PRLDEF, a national leader in the fight for Latino civil and human rights, has opened up a satellite office located at the Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center Randolph Hearst Public Advocacy Center in Central Islip. The office is staffed by a legal fellow and a community organizer, and will also be used by LatinoJustice’s NYC-based legal staff working in Long Island.

LatinoJustice & Dēmos File Amicus in Supreme Court Case Challenging Michigan’s Emergency Manager Law under the Voting Rights Act

LatinoJustice PRLDEF (“LatinoJustice”) and Dēmos submitted an amici curiae brief to the U.S. Supreme Court today in support of a petition for certiorari challenging Michigan’s controversial Emergency Manager Law, Public Act (PA) 436, arguing that laws which remove governmental authority from locally-elected officials in municipalities that have disproportionately large minority populations are discriminatory and subject to scrutiny under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, and that the Sixth Circuit ruled in error below by failing to examine the statute under Section 2’s totality of circumstances test. The amici are represented by Debevoise & Plimpton LLP.

Re-entry and Legal Advocates File Amicus Brief with U.S. Supreme Court

“Over 70 million Americans, nearly a third of the entire civilian workforce have some form of criminal history record today,” notes Juan Cartagena, President & General Counsel of LatinoJustice PRLDEF. “Excessive policing and policies that focus on minor nonviolent offenses have exacerbated this problem especially for black and Latino communities but in all marginalized communities of the country. Best practices show that this focus does not promote public safety and the consequences in the labor market are devastating because of employment background checks. Judge Gleeson’s decision to order the expungement in this case is an important judicial check on abuse of authority in the co-branches of government.”

Latino Workers File Federal Complaint Against Hudson Valley’s Ideal Snacks

Two Latino factory workers filed a complaint against Ideal Snacks Corp for violating the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act of 1988. The complaint, filed in the Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York, describes a mass layoff by the company in May 2015 affecting over 200 employees, exceeding half of its then work force, in violation of the WARN Act.

LatinoJustice PRLDEF and Center for Investigative Journalism Request Information About Puerto Rico’s Fiscal Control Board

San Juan, PR – Several rights groups filed a request with the White House, Treasury Department and the Office of Government Ethics on January 26, 2017 under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA for information concerning the federal fiscal control board established under the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA).The Center for Investigative Journalism (CPI) began the comprehensive, public and legal process with the support of LatinoJustice PRLDEF and the Center for Constitutional Rights, both based in New York, who are representing CPI with respect to the FOIA requests.

LatinoJustice Seeks $98,000 In Backwages for Undocumented Immigrant Building Worker Under Special State Minimum Wage Law

By day he was a fulltime porter cleaning a Bronx apartment building with over 70 apartments. Juan Valdez (pseudonym used to protect his identity) worked seven days a week for the past six years in exchange for a free room in the basement of the building without receiving any pay from his employer as mandated by law. At night and on his off time, he would collect empty bottles and cans in order to try and earn enough money to buy food.

Testimony before NYC City Council on the Street Vendor Bill

Good afternoon honorable members of the City Council. My name is Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan and I am Associate Counsel at LatinoJustice PRLDEF, a national civil rights organization engaged in advocacy and impact litigation on behalf of underserved Latino communities along the east coast. Thank you for the invitation to address you today on the important issue of economic justice for working class street vendors, many of whom are Latino and almost all are immigrants.

LJP Update: Protecting Florida Voting Rights, Criminal Justice Convening and more!

In this LJP Update we focus on our work to protect the vote in Florida through Cada Voto Cuenta leading up to the 2016 Election. Then, we recap a convening we helped organize in collaboration with John Jay.

Landmark Settlement in Census Bureau Employment Discrimination Hiring Case Approved

A New York federal court has approved the settlement of a landmark class action in which African American and Latino job applicants alleged illegal background check policies and practices at the U.S. Census Bureau denied them access to more than a million temporary jobs for the 2010 decennial census. On September 20, 2016, Magistrate Judge Frank Mass of the Southern District of New York approved Plaintiffs’ proposed nationwide settlement agreement with the Census Bureau in Gonzalez et. al v. Pritzker, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce. After six years of complex litigation, Plaintiffs’ motions for class certification, attorneys’ fees and costs, and $10,000 service awards for each of the class agent plaintiffs, were approved without objection.

LJPUpdate: Join us at our 2016 Gala, Law Day, Fight for Day laborer rights and more

In this LJP Update we highlight our ongoing fight for day laborer rights in oyster bay. Also, if you or someone you know is interested in Law School then make sure to check out Law Day. It is a great opportunity to meet with lawyers, law schools and law students.

LJP Update: Announcing 2016 Gala Honorees, Right to Know Act in NYC Council and more

We are excited to announce our 2016 Gala Honorees! Make sure you get your tickets soon! We also have legal updates on the Right To Know Act, Racial bias in jury selection and more!

NYS Senate & Assembly pass Justice for Job Seekers bill

On the last day of the 2015-16 legislative session, the NYS Assembly and the Senate passed the Justice for Job Seekers bill (S.8102/A.10672)! Once signed by Governor Cuomo, the bill will provide meaningful protections to low-wage immigrant workers as they look for work in the state of New York.

Fifteen Puerto Rican Farmworkers File Complaint with the EEOC for Discrimination

Fifteen Puerto Rican farmworkers who were recruited to work in Michigan and were all fired after repeated comments comparing them to other Latino workers, filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charging discrimination on the basis of their national origin.

LJPUpdate: Meet Jessica Gonzalez, an LJP Trailblazer; DACA recipients can apply for professional licenses and more

Meet Jessica Gonzalez, a #LatinaTrailblazer who advocates for the reproductive rights of Latinas around the country. Then, hear about a recent update that helps DACA recipients work in New York. This and much more in this week's #LJPUpdate.

LSAT Prep Course Registration: Spring-Summer 2016 Classes

The LatinoJustice PRLDEF LSAT prep course is truly unique. Over the past 44 years it has been the first step in countless legal careers. In fact, many of our alumni hold prominent positions in public service at major law firms and in major corporate law departments. Our course provides high quality, intensive instruction that is tailored to ensure students from all backgrounds achieve their best score.

LJPUpdate: Meet a Trailblazer, SCOTUS hears DAPA case and more

In this week's LJPUpdate we introduce you to Damaris Hernández the first Latina partner in Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP. Then, we recap some of the oral argument that took place at SCOTUS regarding the DAPA and DACA case. This and much more in this week's LJP Update

Seventh Annual Latina Trailblazers Breakfast 2016

Join us in honoring Latinas who, like former LatinoJustice PRLDEF Board member Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, have opened up new professional and political pathways for their peers

Leaders Outline Stakes for Latino Community in Looming Supreme Court Nomination, Launch National Campaign

Members of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA), a coalition of the nation's 40 preeminent Latino advocacy organizations, and Hispanics for a Fair Judiciary (HFJ), a non-partisan network of elected officials, legal, civil rights, labor, academic and political leaders, spoke on the issues at stake for the Latino community if Senate leaders continue to refuse to give full consideration, including a hearing and a vote, to any Supreme Court nominee this year. They also outlined components of a national campaign to urge the Senate to act, including direct outreach to Senators on Capitol Hill and in their home states, events across the country, and social media efforts to mobilize Latino engagement.

NYS Board of Regents Proposal Removes Obstacles to Licenses for Non-­Citizens

Long Island City, NY — The New York State Board of Regents voted this week to begin a process to permit qualified non-­‐citizens to obtain professional licenses. Advocates from CUNY Law, its Center on Latino/a Rights and Equality (CLORE), LatinoJusticePRLDEF, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), and the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) successfully worked to persuade the Board that recent developments in federal and New York State courts removed prior restrictions.

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