PLATINUM2022

Legal Aid at Work

Putting justice to work

aka Legal Aid at Work   |   San Francisco, CA   |  https://legalaidatwork.org/

Mission

Legal Aid at Work ("LAAW") protects and expands the rights of low-wage workers, their families, and communities by educating about legal rights, providing legal representation, and advocating for more responsive laws. We give free, individualized legal advice-and-counsel to 3000+ workers and unemployed persons across California each year about their job-related legal rights, pursue targeted "impact litigation" cases that promise to improve the laws applicable to everyone, conduct community outreach and education for workers, their advocates, and social service providers, and draft and promote laws, regulations, and policies to strengthen civil and workplace rights at the local, state, and federal level.

Ruling year info

1982

Principal Officer

Joan Messing Graff

Main address

180 Montgomery Street Suite 600

San Francisco, CA 94104 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center

EIN

94-2783401

NTEE code info

Employee & Workers' Rights (R29)

Civil Rights, Social Action, and Advocacy N.E.C. (R99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2020, 2019 and 2018.
Register now

Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Our clients experience violations of their civil rights in their workplaces and communities including: • Wage theft • Discriminatory treatment, harassment, violence or retaliation on the basis of race, national origin, language, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, domestic violence, and disability • Unlawful termination • Incorrect denial of Unemployment Insurance or State Disability Insurance • Failure of employers to comply with state and federal family medical leave and care giving laws • Denial of accommodations for disabled employees in the workplace, and • Failure of communities to provide and maintain ADA-compliant public infrastructure and facilities.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Disability Rights

Legal Aid at Work's Disability Rights Program advances the civil rights of people with disabilities in employment, education, and public services through brief services, information, individual litigation, and class actions. Our Workers’ Rights Disability Law Clinic and Disability Rights Helpline provide free, confidential legal advice and referrals for workers and job seekers with disabilities. We protect the civil rights of people with all types of disabilities by educating employers and promoting equality and reasonable accommodation in the workplace. And we ensure that people with disabilities in California have equal access to public facilities and to educational opportunities at public schools.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
People with diseases and illnesses
Economically disadvantaged people

Guided by a mission of gender & LGBTQ justice, Legal Aid at Work's Gender Equity & LGBTQ Rights Program partners with clients to vindicate their rights and build power in their workplaces and schools. Our clients include low-wage women; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) individuals; immigrants; military veterans; survivors of harassment as well as domestic and sexual violence; student athletes; and other under-represented individuals.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Economically disadvantaged people
LGBTQ people
Low-income people
Women and girls
Victims of crime and abuse

The Central Valley Workers’ Rights Project is committed to providing access to justice for workers, regardless of immigration status, who face discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and other unlawful conduct on the job.

With dedicated staff based in the Central Valley, we empower and advocate for low-wage workers in the Central Valley to assert their rights in the workplace through community outreach and education, legal advice and self-help tools, and legal representation in collaboration with community partners.

Population(s) Served
Immigrants and migrants
Economically disadvantaged people
Ethnic and racial groups

Our National Origin and Immigrants’ Rights Program advocates for the workplace rights of persons who face discrimination because of their ethnicity or the parts of the world they have migrated from. We do this through litigation, policy work, and community education.

Among other things, our cases have challenged discrimination against workers because of their ethnic identity, the languages they speak or their level of English language proficiency, their religion or their citizenship status. We represent undocumented workers, who have virtually the same legal rights as all employees but whose employers threaten them for asserting those rights, including by reporting them to ICE. We sue to stop and remedy employer practices that appear to be even-handed but, in reality, fall the hardest on immigrant workers and workers of color.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Low-income people
Immigrants
Undocumented immigrants
Ethnic and racial groups

The Racial Economic Justice Program empowers Black and Brown workers who are discriminated against and economically exploited. We protect and advance the civil rights of people of color in the workplace and beyond, with the aim of building a world with racial equity, solidarity, respect, dignity, and economic justice for all. We seek systems change through policy advocacy, legal services, organizing, community education, and litigation.

We offer free, confidential advice through our helplines, represent individuals in low-wage jobs and industries, litigate race discrimination cases, and organize and educate workers to fight against discrimination and vindicate their rights under Ban the Box and Fair Chance laws. We also advocate for systems and policy change to challenge structural racism and advance the rights of marginalized workers, including workers of color and persons with arrest or conviction records in California and beyond.

Population(s) Served
Ethnic and racial groups
Incarcerated people
Victims and oppressed people

Through legal representation and advocacy, the Wage Protection Program works to build a just economy where all workers are empowered to win fair wages and dignified workplaces. Our program assists individual workers and groups of workers seeking to enforce their right to the minimum wage, overtime pay, meal and rest breaks, sick pay, and reimbursement for work-related expenses. We also assist workers who have been retaliated against for pursuing their rights and those who have been forced to work through threats of violence, fraud, or coercion.

We know that workers have more power when they fight for their rights collectively, and our Program regularly supports community-based organizations and groups of workers to enforce their rights.

Population(s) Served
Immigrants and migrants

We empower workers who are parents, pregnant, family caregivers, or caring for their own health to access time off from work, paid leave, and other workplace accommodations. We offer free, confidential advice through our Work & Family helpline, represent individuals in low-income jobs and industries, and advocate for systems and policy change to advance the rights of working families by partnering with families, healthcare and social service providers, and government agencies. Our work is rooted in our strong belief that no worker should have to choose between their job and income and the health and wellbeing of their family.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Economically disadvantaged people
Low-income people
Economically disadvantaged people
Low-income people
Women
Caregivers
Families

The Workers’ Rights Clinic provides low-income and unemployed people with free, confidential information about their legal rights related to work in California. We operate in 13 physical Workers’ Rights Clinic sites throughout the State, currently in San Francisco, Berkeley/Oakland, Antioch, Sacramento, Fresno, Watsonville, East Palo Alto, Ontario, San Bernardino, Los Angeles (2 locations), Santa Ana, San Diego. For those that we are unable to see in person, we also offer assistance by phone.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of clients served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Ethnic and racial groups, Economically disadvantaged people, Immigrants and migrants, LGBTQ people, People with disabilities

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Legal Aid at Work seeks equality, fairness and dignity for all. We protect and expand the rights of low-wage workers, their families and communities by educating about legal rights, providing legal representation, and advocating for more responsive laws.

We aim to:
• Increase the financial stability of low-wage workers, their families, and their communities
• Improve the health of families with low incomes
• Affirm the equal dignity of the many diverse communities we serve, and
• Provide the highest-quality legal representation to persons who otherwise would not be able to afford a lawyer.

We give free, individualized legal advice-and-counsel to thousands of workers and unemployed persons across California. We pursue targeted “impact litigation” cases that promise to improve the laws applicable to everyone. We conduct community outreach and education for workers, their advocates and social service providers. And we draft and promote laws, regulations, and policies to strengthen civil and workplace rights at the local, state, and federal level.

We are uniquely situated to address almost any job-related problem that a worker might experience because of our deep technical expertise in the employment laws affecting the inter sectional populations we serve and because of our close ties to community groups.

We are the oldest legal aid organization in the West, having served low-income Californians for more than 100 years. Until recently, we were known under our former name as the “Legal Aid Society – Employment Law Center.”

Recent accomplishments include the following:
• We and our co-counsel at CRLA obtained a $1,000,000 settlement for client—a dairy worker who had experienced egregious immigration-related retaliation—after making powerful new federal case law that protects countless undocumented workers from retaliation at the hands of third parties acting in their employer’s interest.
• We are leading the charge for legislation that makes paid family leave accessible to all Californians—especially for low-wage workers. Currently, workers who qualify for paid family leave can still be fired when they take it. Our legislation would end that perverse result, and in so doing, improve the health and economic security of millions of low-income Californians.
• We launched our 12th Workers’ Rights Clinic site in Los Angeles in collaboration with the Los Angeles Black Worker Center and UCLA School of Law, with a special focus on providing legal services to workers fighting race discrimination. Each year our statewide network of clinics and helplines serves over 3,000 vulnerable low-wage workers throughout California.
• We continue to fight for equal transit access for persons with mobility disabilities in our class action against BART, along with co-counsel at Disability Rights Advocates. Our clients rely on BART’s transit services but are unable to access them because of filthy elevators soiled by human waste, non-working escalators, broken service gates, and other consistent failures in the system.
• We filed a class action lawsuit against the state of Hawaii Department of Education for Title IX athletics violations at the largest school in the state with co-counsel from the ACLU of Hawaii and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP. Because Hawaii has a unique statewide school district structure, this single case has the potential to result in systemic change throughout the entire state, if not the country.
• We continue to aggressively pursue wage theft violations in sectors where it is particularly prevalent, including the construction, caregiving, janitorial, and restaurant industries. In 2018 alone, we have secured over $2,500,000 in settlements and awards for low-wage workers experiencing wage theft—an especially significant amount for our clients, many of whom are living paycheck to paycheck, and sending a strong signal to would-be violators of the severe consequences of engaging in this illegal practice.

Going forward, we anticipate continuing to be at the vanguard of impact litigation, policy reform, and direct legal services work serving the most vulnerable populations in California, including undocumented immigrants, people of color, those with limited-English proficiency, survivors of domestic violence, caregivers, members of the LGBTQ community, pregnant women, new parents and working families, people with disabilities, military veterans, girls from low income neighborhoods seeking equal athletic opportunities at school, and workers making claims for unpaid

Financials

Legal Aid at Work
lock

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.

Subscribe

Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Legal Aid at Work

Board of directors
as of 01/13/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Annette P. Carnegie

Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc.

Annette Carnegie

Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc.

Elizabeth Cabraser

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP

Laurence Pulgram

Fenwick & West LLP

James Finberg

Altshuler Berzon LLP

James Abrams

Fox Rothschild LLP

J. Alexander

Alexander Morrison + Fehr, LLP

Jennie Anderson

Andrus Anderson LLP

Aelish Baig

Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP

Na’il Benjamin

Benjamin Law Group, P.C.

Amy Bomse

Rogers Joseph O'Donnell P.C.

Sara Brody

Sidley Austin LLP

Madeline Chun

Hanson Bridgett LLP

Craig Corbitt

Corbitt Law Office

Linda Dardarian

Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian & Ho

Michael Dell

Shartsis Friese LLP

Robert Dondero

JAMS (Ret.)

Daniel Feinberg

Feinberg, Jackson, Worthman & Wasow LLP

Scott Fink

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP (Ret.)

Catherine Fisk

UC Berkeley School of Law

John Flynn

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

John Foote

Nixon Peabody LLP (Ret.)

Harrison "Buzz" Frahn

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Felicia Gilbert

Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP

Kenneth Guernsey

Cooley LLP

Amanda Guzmán

Sheryl Sandberg & Dave Goldberg Family Foundation

Wilmer Harris

Schonbrun Seplow Harris & Hoffman, LLP

William Hebert

Christopher Heffelfinger

Berman Tabacco

Daniel Herling

Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.

Aaron Kauffman

Leonard Carder, LLP

Joshua Konecky

Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky LLP

Raghav Krishnapriyan

Durie Tangri LLP

Dolores Leal

Allred Maroko & Goldberg

Barry Levin

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

Steven Lowenthal

Farella Braun + Martel LLP

Jason Marsili

Rosen Marsili Rapp LLP

Louise McCabe

Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders LLP

Alicia McKnight

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

Christopher Micheletti

Zelle LLP

Samuel Miller

Sidley Austin LLP (Ret.)

Richard Patch

Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass LLP

Joshua Peck

Sixth Street Partners

Sarah Piepmeier

Perkins Coie LLP

Jennifer Rhodes

Angion Biomedica Corp.

Elizabeth Riles

Bohbot & Riles, PC

Rosemarie Ring

Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP

Jahan Sagafi

Outten & Golden LLP

Stanley Saltzman

Marlin & Saltzman, LLP

Supreeta Sampath

The Sampath Law Firm

Bryan Schwartz

Bryan Schwartz Law

James Finberg

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/13/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/13/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.