Economic Justice News
::New York, NY:: A Manhattan federal court ruled on Wednesday, April 18, 2018, that the owner of the Kum Gang San restaurants, Ji Sung Yoo, fraudulently transferred his property to his wife in order to avoid paying a wage theft judgment of $2.7 million to 11 Asian and Latino workers.
Legal organizations based in the U.S., working with investigative journalists in Puerto Rico, filed multiple Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) seeking detailed information concerning the agency’s inadequate, and often incomprehensible, efforts to provide emergency relief after Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017.
On January 31, 2018 Judge Vincent Briccetti of the United States Southern District Court preliminarily approved a proposed settlement agreement from Plaintiffs and Defendant Ideal Snacks Corp. based on terms agreed in their August 2017 Mediation. Class certification and class agents were also approved.
A building porter who often worked seven days a week in exchange for a free room in the basement of a building but was never paid a salary was awarded almost $50,000 in unpaid wages after he filed a back wages claim with the New York Department of Labor.
Seven Latina factory workers on January 5, 2018 filed a sexual harassment suit against Ideal Snacks Corp citing numerous instances of gender-based discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation by its managers and supervisors.
Building on the foundation of the City’s historic “women and workplace” hearings of the 1970s which catalyzed a national movement to recognize and address sexual harassment in the workplace, New Yorkers from a variety of industries will testify today on their experiences of sexual harassment and challenges in reporting it
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, 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.
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.
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.
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 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 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 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.
“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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.