The Workers’ Right Clinic, devoted to addressing the employment issues of low-wage workers, has opened its doors at 588 West Sixth Street in San Bernardino. It runs from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of every month. People in need of assistance may either call 909-889-7328 to make an appointment or come to the office during those hours. In addition, appointments for legal consultations via videoconference are available throughout the month.
Founded by Legal Aid at Work (“LAAW”) and the Legal Aid Society of San Bernardino (“LASSB”), the Clinic is the first of its kind in the Inland Empire, and provides free legal assistance to low-wage workers who are subjected to illegal practices on the job.
The Clinic helps workers with a broad range of problems, such as wage theft, workplace discrimination based upon protected categories (e.g., race), rejected requests for reasonable disability accommodations, and denials of unemployment insurance benefits. In some cases, clients will receive representation at state agencies, such as the California Labor Commissioner, and know-your-rights trainings for low-wage workers will also be offered in the local community.
The organizations that have joined to make this new Clinic possible are committed to providing access to justice to those who are least able to secure it. LASSB has long served the County of San Bernardino by providing legal services in the areas of family law, probate, landlord/tenant, and other civil issues. LAAW has represented low-wage workers for more than 40 years, and operates the Workers’ Rights Clinic in locations throughout California, relying on law students and volunteer supervising attorneys who practice in the field of employment law to deliver expert guidance and advice to clients. This is the first time that the Clinic’s collaborative model is operating in the Inland Empire.
Josefina Valdez, Executive Director of LASSB, stated: “We are so fortunate to be able to bring the specialized practice of employment law to San Bernardino County residents from the highly-esteemed organization, Legal Aid at Work. This collaboration will benefit our clients in immeasurable ways, and I could not thank Mike Gaitley and Galen Ages (of LAAW) enough, for their tireless effort in making this clinic a reality. Galen Ages, Skadden Fellow at LAAW, stated: “We are grateful to collaborate with the Legal Aid Society of San Bernardino to provide essential employment law assistance to workers in the Inland Empire. Across the region, many workers suffer a variety of workplace violations, yet lack widespread access to high-quality, free legal services. Our new Clinic site will address this unmet need and, we believe, make a positive difference in the lives of our clients.”