Advancing workplace-related rights for underrepresented communities in Los Angeles, in 2018-19 the Critical Race Studies program launched a new Race, Work and Economic Justice Clinic in collaboration with the Los Angeles Black Worker Center and San Francisco-based Legal Aid at Work.
The partnership provides legal advocacy for clients while giving law students opportunities to develop their skills and open doors to internship and job opportunities. Under the guidance of Professor Noah Zatz and Critical Race Studies Program Director Jasleen Kohli, participants in the clinic assist low-wage workers dealing with workplace challenges including employment discrimination, wage theft and health and safety violations at their workplace. In the clinic's first semester, seven students under the supervision of experienced practitioners assisted 53 clients with claims of workplace discrimination based on age, race, sexual orientation or national origin, as well as workplace safety and wage violations. They also assisted clients in gaining access to unemployment and disability benefits.
Located in South Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Black Worker Center emerged from an effort by the UCLA Labor Center to increase labor rights and alter corporate practices in Los Angeles to advance economic justice for African American workers, their families and communities. Legal Aid at Work operates workers' rights clinics throughout California in partnership with law schools.