Laura Huizar

  • Hosted by LatinoJustice PRLDEF
  • Sponsored by Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel
  • Service location New York, New York
  • Law school Yale Law School
  • Issue area Immigrant Populations, Workers' Rights
  • Fellowship class year 2012
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Laura used direct representation, impact litigation, legislative and policy advocacy, community organizing, and education to combat predatory practices of employment agencies that exploit low-wage, immigrant workers in the New York City metropolitan area.

New immigrants frequently rely on employment agencies to help them find work. Officially, New York City has 350 employment agencies, but advocates estimate that more than 1,000 agencies exist, primarily located in communities with large immigrant populations. Unscrupulous agencies substantially control access to low-wage jobs, which enables them to charge exorbitant fees to job seekers and otherwise defraud workers. Agencies knowingly place workers with employers that violate labor laws, engage in wage theft, and blacklist workers who complain.

Fellowship Highlights

During her Fellowship, Laura:

  • Provided advice, referrals, or representation to 65 workers
  • Served as counsel to New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE) on employment agency issues
  • Collaborated with NICE to form the Justice for Job Seekers Campaign, a state-wide coalition of 30 New York workers’ rights organizations
  • Advocated for state legislation to improve employment agency laws
  • Garnered media coverage on employment agency fraud in outlets including The New York Times, New York Daily News, New York Post, El Diario, Al-Jazeera, and Univision
  • Conducted know-your-rights presentations for nearly 600 individuals
  • Participated in impact litigation cases challenging an anti-day laborer ordinance on Long Island, seeking relief for wage and hour violations for domestic workers and seeking unpaid wages for restaurant workers

Next Step

Laura is currently Marvin M. Karpatkin Fellow within the Racial Justice Program at the American Civil Liberties Union.

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