Workers’ Rights Clinics
In partnership with the Legal Aid at Work, the Center for Workers’ Rights offers one-on-one legal consultations for low-wage workers on workplace issues.
Call for an appointment: 916-905-5857 or 866-864-8209. We also welcome walk-ins.
The Workers’ Rights Clinic is open on selected Thursday evenings during the academic year at 6:30pm. It is held in the Community Room at the Department of Human Assistance at 2450 Florin Road in Sacramento. The clinic will be held on the following dates during the 2018-2019 academic year:
- October 4th
- October 18th
- November 1st
- January 10th
- January 24th
- February 7th
- February 21st
- March 7th
- March 21st
- April 4th
The Workers’ Rights Clinic is open to local workers regardless of immigration status. Income restrictions do apply.
The Center runs a Workers' Rights Clinic with the Legal Aid Society - Employment Law Center (LAS-ELC). For many years, LAS-ELC has run clinics throughout California using its time-tested model for worker empowerment and student development.
Here is a little more about the structure of the Clinics:
The primary purpose of the clinic is to provide accurate, useful and free information to low-income working people about their legal rights when they have a problem connected with a job.
The clinic is staffed by law student counselors who are supervised by attorneys from the the Center and LAS - ELC and by plaintiffs’ and government employment lawyers.
An orientation and basic training session is held at the beginning of each clinic term. Each week, the clinic is preceded by a brief presentation and discussion on a selected topic in employment law that is relevant to clinic counseling (discrimination, wrongful termination, wage and hour law, etc.). These discussions are led by the clinic’s supervising attorney or by another attorney or judge with particular expertise in the topic of discussion.
During the clinic sessions, students will work closely with the clinic’s staff attorney. There will also be at least one other lawyer—usually a volunteer from the public sector or plaintiff’s employment bar—available to consult with students before advising the client. No legal advice can be given to a client without having discussed the matter first with a supervising attorney. Any follow-up work to be done on a client’s behalf must be pre-approved by the clinic’s supervising attorney, and done under his/her continuing supervision.
The clinic aims to provide services to the working poor. These clients that may not all be living in poverty, but they would still not be able to afford to pay an attorney for help with their problem. There are established income eligibility guidelines for employed and unemployed clinic clients. For details, contact the Center.
Where appropriate, people who contact the clinic are referred to government agencies, to other organizations that provide assistance, or to private attorneys. The clinic’s expanded view of service includes extra-legal advice and an empowerment strategy whereby trained advocates recognize what they can do for the clients and what the clients must do for themselves. The clinic aims to prepare the workers for the legal world of rules and procedures, and to put that world within the context of the worker’s life. A student counselor may, where appropriate, engage in supervised follow-up of a problem presented during the clinic, but it is not the clinic’s primary purpose to represent clients in legal disputes.
Counselors at the clinic, together with supervising attorneys, collect data about the types of employment difficulties being encountered by California residents. This information is used to determine where further services are needed, to identify issues that should be addressed through law reform, to monitor the performance of government agencies that assist workers, and to inform press coverage and legislative testimony regarding workers’ issues.