The Society’s Employment Law Project provides representation, advice and community education to low wage and unemployed workers. Most of its cases involve unemployment insurance, wage and hour violations, and workplace discrimination, especially discrimination based on past criminal convictions or other involvement with the criminal justice system. The Project can also provide assistance with or referrals regarding other employment related legal issues such as family and medical leave, pensions and other employer provided benefits, and worker’s compensation.
According to a study published by The New York Times, the bottom 20% of workers in Manhattan earns only two cents for every dollar earned by the top 20%.
Mrs. O is an 85-year-old widow whose health insurance company recently informed her that she would have to start paying for her own coverage. Although these benefits should have been covered by her late husband’s former employer, Mrs. O paid the requested amount and then approached the Employment Law Project. As a result of the Society’s efforts, Mrs. O was reimbursed several thousand dollars for payments she never should have had to make, and received assurance that her health care costs were covered. In a follow-up letter, Mrs. O described Society staff as a “group of [wonderful], caring people who worked so hard and [quickly] to help me.”
To obtain an appointment from the Employment Law Project, a potential client must call the project’s hotline phone number (888 218 6974) and leave a brief message of his or her legal issue and a telephone number. A staff member will return each call and conduct a screening interview.