Underpaid for years, they finally recover the full back wages they earned — earnings vital to sustaining themselves and their families.
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In the closing month of 2015, the Equal Justice Center surpassed the milestone of $8.5 million recovered in wage theft cases for low-wage working men and women.
EJC attorneys and staff, working from its offices in Austin, San Antonio, and Dallas, provide legal representation for low-wage working people across Texas. EJC’s clients include construction laborers, janitorial and cleaning service workers, restaurant cooks and dishwashers, landscape laborers, and workers in a host of other industries. They are U.S. citizens, documented immigrants, and undocumented immigrants. They are women, men, young people and older workers.
The common factors among them all are (1) the hard, honest work they perform to support themselves and their families; and (2) their determined use of the legal system to vindicate their right to be paid what they have earned.
“The Equal Justice Center empowers low-wage working people to take control of enforcing their own rights,” observes EJC San Antonio attorney Philip Moss. ”We put the law and the legal system at our clients’ disposal and with those tools they can hold unscrupulous employers accountable, exercising a direct power that they – and often their employers – did not previously know they had.”
The EJC is the leading law firm in Texas specialized in protecting the employment rights of low-wage workers. Its pioneering work continues to advance access to workplace justice without regard to income or immigration status.
The Equal Justice Center has launched an innovative new project to combat the scourge of sexual assault in the workplace and to provide survivors of sexual assault with expert legal assistance on employment-related matters.
It is shockingly common for working women and men to be victimized by sexual assault in their jobs. Low-wage working people are especially vulnerable to this most terrible form of employment violation. (See, for example, recent PBS Frontline documentaries Rape on the Night Shift and Rape in the Fields.) The EJC’s project on Employment Law Assistance for Survivors of Sexual Assault will deploy and expand the EJC’s employment law expertise to help survivors of workplace sexual assault secure the compensation and legal remedies they need for their recovery. Where applicable, EJC attorneys will help survivors hold employers accountable when the company’s employment practices have allowed sexual assault to occur within their business. At the same time the EJC will work constructively and proactively with all employers, their business associations, and their attorneys to encourage all employers to adopt the model safe employment practices that can prevent workplace sexual assault before it occurs.
Apart from workplace sexual assault, survivors of sexual assault, wherever it occurs, often face special difficulties sustaining the ongoing employment that is vital to their economic security and recovery. The EJC’s Project to Assist Survivors of Sexual Assault will provide survivors with the legal help they need to maintain secure and productive employment as they cope with and recover from the effects of sexual assault.
The EJC’s project on Employment Law Assistance for Survivors of Sexual Assault is part of a new Texas-wide program of legal aid for survivors of sexual assault which is funded and supported by the Texas Access to Justice Foundation. The Equal Justice Center was chosen to spearhead the specialized employment law aspects of this statewide collaboration based on EJC’s low-wage employment law expertise and the experience EJC already has providing legal assistance to survivors of workplace sexual assault and sexual harassment.