LOS ANGELES (Dec. 17, 2015) Casey Raymond will join Bet Tzedek’s Employment Rights Project as a Skadden Fellow in the fall of 2016. The Skadden Fellowships are awarded to exceptional recent law school graduates who wish to devote their professional lives to providing legal services to the poor (including the working poor), the elderly, the homeless, people with disabilities, and those deprived of their civil or human rights.
Mr. Raymond’s two-year fellowship project, focused on combating wage theft, is directly aligned with the phasing-in of new minimum wage laws and enforcement programs in the city and county of Los Angeles that are to take effect by and through 2017.
Los Angeles currently has one of the highest numbers of sweatshop workers of any U.S. city. More than 30% of low-wage workers and nearly 60% of workers in these underground industries of Los Angeles earn less than the current minimum wage. Through direct representation, proactive investigations, community outreach, and education, Mr. Raymond’s fellowship aims to ensure that the new minimum wage laws are not merely paper tigers but that they benefit those who need protection the most.
“We are extremely excited about the expanded services Bet Tzedek can provide low-wage workers in Los Angeles with Casey Raymond’s Skadden fellowship,” said Gus May, Bet Tzedek’s Directing Attorney and ERP supervisor. “As the second largest city in the nation and in a county with over 10 million residents, the country is watching Los Angeles to see what impact local minimum wage requirements and enforcement have on our high poverty rate. Mr. Raymond’s project will help ensure that these new laws are implemented in a meaningful and effective way.”
In 2001, Bet Tzedek created the Employment Rights Project to address the wide-ranging legal needs of low-wage workers. Since that time, staff and volunteers have represented thousands of workers and obtained millions of dollars in judgments and settlements for workers illegally denied earned wages, those who suffered illegal retaliation for asserting their rights, and individuals trafficked for forced labor. Clients include day laborers, domestic workers, and those working in the garment, construction, car wash, restaurant and janitorial industries, among others.
About Bet Tzedek
Founded in 1974, Bet Tzedek pursues equal justice for all by providing high-quality, free legal services to low-income people of all racial and religious backgrounds, with a particular focus on seniors and people with disabilities. One of the nation’s premier public interest law firms, Bet Tzedek uses direct legal service, impact litigation, community outreach, and legislative advocacy in the areas of consumer rights, employment rights, elder justice/caregiver law, Holocaust reparations, housing, human trafficking, public benefits and real estate to serve more than 20,000 people every year.