Economic Justice News

NHLA URGES CONGRESS AND ADMINISTRATION TO TAKE ADDITIONAL ACTION FOR PUERTO RICO RELIEF EFFORTS

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, a coalition of 45 of the nation’s preeminent Latino advocacy organizations which includes LatinoJustice, welcomes the relief package passed by the Senate for areas affected by recent natural disasters as a first step on the road to recovery for Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and others trying to recover from the impact of recent unprecedented natural disasters, and calls on the federal government to support further efforts to provide Puerto Rico the support it needs to rebuild.

LATINOJUSTICE PRLDEF, NAACP AND CBC FILE BRIEFS IN SUPPORT OF TENNY’S LAWSUIT

LatinoJustice PRLDEF, the NAACP and the Citizens Budget Commission each filed Amicus Curiae briefs this week in support of Tax Equity Now New York’s lawsuit seeking reform of New York City’s property tax system. TENNY is a coalition of homeowners, renters, rental property owners, civil rights and social justice organizations, that filed suit in April 2017 seeking reform of the New York City property tax system on the grounds that it is irrational, and unfairly burdens low income & minority neighborhoods. Despite widespread support for property tax reform in New York, the City and State are currently fighting the suit.

Puerto Rico Se Levanta

It has been a harrowing couple of weeks, with the disasters impacting our friends and families in Mexico and Puerto Rico. LatinoJustice is in action. The first order of business was to seek out trusted relief efforts to which we could donate and direct donations for emergency relief efforts.

Comment Submitted to NARA Opposing the Destruction of Crucial Government Records About ICE Detention Abuses

The proposed records schedule, Docket No. NARA-2017-054, would allow the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) to begin destroying crucial government records that detail “incidents of sexual abuse and assault, escapes, deaths while in agency custody, telephone rates charged to detainees, alternatives to detention, logs and reports on status of detainees and detention facilities, and location and segregation of detainees.” We write to express our deep disagreement with this agency’s preliminary approval of such a request by NARA Appraiser Ashby Crowder and stress upon NARA the importance of preservation of these documents which are critical to the public well-being.

Court Upholds NY Day Laborers Decision that Struck Down Ban on Soliciting Work

A federal appeals court has upheld a September 2015 federal district decision that had struck down and permanently enjoined a Long Island town’s ban on day laborers soliciting work on public roads and sidewalks.

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.

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