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Employment Law

We launched the Clearinghouse Community in 2015 with a series of articles on employment law. This featured collection compiles those articles along with a couple of recent Clearinghouse Review articles on the topic. The accompanying podcast includes clips from our series of Google+ Hangouts with the authors of the 2015 articles.

Work Schedules and Working Families

Solutions to a Growing Problem

By Carrie Gleason, Shawn Sebastian & Sherry Leiwant

As more American workers are employed part-time in hourly low-wage jobs, more of them are struggling with unstable work schedules that disrupt family life and make attaining an education or holding a second job almost impossible. Some states are taking steps to remedy work-schedule abuses with reporting-pay, right-to-request, and split-shift or spread-of-hours laws. Federal legislation that embraces all of these reforms has been introduced.

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Using Anti-trafficking Laws to Advance Workers’ Rights

By Spring Miller & Stacie Jonas

The Trafficking Victims Protection Act has become an important tool for attorneys who represent vulnerable low-wage workers. It prohibits certain forms of coercive labor relationships, seeks to deter and punish those who benefit from those relationships, and establishes mechanisms to protect and compensate victims. The Legal Services Corporation issued a final rule in 2014 to clarify the extent of legal services that its programs may offer to trafficking victims.

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Expungement: A Gateway to Work

By Margaret (Peggy) Stevenson

Expungement of a person’s criminal record—that is, ameliorating that record to the legal extent possible—improves that person’s chance of securing stable employment. An expungement helps workers and their families increase their income, and society benefits from increased public revenue and safety and decreased recidivism. The Record Clearance Project at San José State University exemplifies a comprehensive expungement practice.

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Finishing What You Started

Collecting on Judgments for Low-Wage Workers

By Michael Hollander

Low-wage workers who win judgments against bad employers must be able to collect those judgments for the legal victories to mean anything. Attorneys can improve their clients’ chances of recovery before ever initiating wage-collection litigation by evaluating the employer’s assets and exploring alternatives to litigation such as settlement, mechanic’s liens, and media campaigns. After winning a case, attorneys can collect on a judgment through garnishment, levy, judgment liens, or a new tool—wage liens.

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Job Preservation for Workers Who Need Sick Leave

By Brendan Lynch

When workers take sick leave to tend to illness or injury or to care for a sick family member, their employment rights are often protected by a panoply of federal and state laws. Advocates should familiarize themselves with the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and relevant state leave laws so that they can help their clients take leave when they need it and return to their jobs when the leave is over.

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Using Pregnancy Discrimination Claims to Fight Poverty

By Elizabeth M. Gedmark

Pregnancy discrimination at work can endanger a family's financial stability. Legal services attorneys can use local, state, and federal laws—such as the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act, Title VII, and the Family and Medical Leave Act—to keep working families out of poverty. Other federal and state initiatives are under way to protect pregnant and parenting workers better.

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