2016 Equal Justice Works Fellow, Hannah Alexander

Hannah Alexander

Name of Host Organization: Equal Justice Center
City, State: Dallas, Texas
Issue area: Workers' Rights
Sponsors: The Texas Access to Justice Foundation

The Project

Provide representation to help low-wage, immigrant janitorial workers challenge and prevent workplace sexual assault, theft-of-wages, employer fraud schemes, and similar severe employment abuses.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project: 
Low-wage, immigrant janitorial workers face some of the worst and most pervasive employment abuses afflicting the working poor. Like many other immigrant workers, janitorial workers are often victims of wage theft and other employment abuses that can have a severe impact on their financial health. This project also addresses two abuses particular to the janitorial industry: workplace sexual assault and employer fraud schemes. Janitorial workers are especially vulnerable to workplace sexual assault because they so often are women working alone at night in dimly lit, isolated places. Janitorial workers also frequently become victims of employer fraud schemes in which employers cheat them out of tens of thousands of dollars by pretending to sell “business franchises” to these workers. An attorney is needed to combat these predatory practices and provide aid to workers facing abuse.
The Right Person For This Project: 
Hannah is the right person for the project because:
• She interned with the Equal Justice Center during her third year of law school providing employment legal assistance to low-wage immigrants
• She hails from the Dallas-Fort Worth area and has a unique understanding of the community
• She is proficient in Spanish, allowing her to communicate more professionally and comfortably with her clients
Plans For First Six Months of Fellowship: 
In the first six months, Hannah will:
• Begin direct representation of janitors in employment cases in the Dallas-Fort Worth area
• Establish supervision, mentoring, support, and co-counsel relationships with experienced lawyers in Equal Justice Center’s Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio offices as well as with private pro bono lawyers
• Begin legal rights outreach through community groups and public media to build connections in the the client community

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