Sesilia Valdez Diaz

  • Hosted by LatinoJustice PRLDEF
  • Sponsored by The Florida Bar Foundation
  • Service location Orlando, Florida
  • Law school Florida A&M University College of Law
  • Issue area Immigrant Populations
  • Fellowship class year 2017
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Sesilia provided legal advocacy and representation for low-wage Latina workers in the hospitality industry experiencing wage theft, discrimination, harassment and other employment issues in Central Florida.

The hospitality industry represents one of the largest and fastest growing employment sectors in Orlando, which impacts Latina workers. Latina workers may experience wage theft, discrimination, harassment, and other employment issues. Employment discrimination and inequity experienced by Latina workers stems from an intersectional framework of race, gender, socioeconomic status, and at times, immigration status. Factors contributing to the vulnerability of Latina workers in employment may include language barriers, lack of knowledge of rights, misperceptions of the rights of undocumented workers, and lack of access to legal resources. This project provides legal advocacy by addressing the enforcement of wage theft complaints to the Office of Attorney General and by direct legal representation, including filing Fair Labor Standards Act and other employment claims in court.

Fellowship Highlights

In the past two years, Sesilia has:

  • Conducted intakes and provided legal services and referrals to Latina woman who have employment law issues
  • Conducted 45 community presentations and workshops
  • Forged community partnerships and collaborations, attending over 40 coalition and other community meetings
  • Collaborated with local community partners in scheduling regular Know Your Rights presentations on a bimonthly basis
  • Developed materials on workers’ rights under Florida law and highlighting common workplace problems, as well as a Know Your Rights informational card
  • Project highlighted in El Sentinel – Orlando Sentinel and in local Spanish radio shows

What’s Next

Now that the Fellowship is complete, Sesilia plans to continue advocating for the immigrant and Latinx community.

Meet Other Fellows Like Sesilia

View All

Photo of Reema Ali

Reema Ali

Host: Equal Justice Center

Sponsor: Texas Access to Justice Foundation

Megan Sheffield

Host: Equal Justice Center

Sponsor: Anonymous

Jessica Emerson

Host: The Women's Law Center of Maryland

Sponsor: Friends and Family of Philip M. Stern

Robin Richardson

Host: Urban Justice Center

Sponsor: Friends and Family of Philip M. Stern