by Corinna Spencer-Scheurich, NWJP Deputy Director
Photo by Lindsay Jonasson
For the last three years, NWJP has hosted regular brown-bag lunches for employment attorneys who seek justice for low-wage and contingent workers. Employee Advocates Together (or EAT) organizes (almost) monthly lunches that provide Portland-area attorneys a chance to develop community, meet face to face, and solve problems together.
Discussion topics and training sessions give legal services, solo and small-firm attorneys peer support and education on the nuances of representing low-wage workers in employment disputes. Recently, Ed Harnden, Managing Attorney of Barran Liebman, an employer-side employment law firm, met with EAT to talk about emotional distress damages from the perspective of defense counsel. On another occasion, Judge Michael Simon joined us to talk about representing low-wage and non-English speaking workers in federal courts, as well as updating us on federal rule changes. The Regional U-Visa Coordinator from the Department of Labor called in to train us on immigration relief for wage theft victims. Other training sessions have touched on collection on judgments, updates on new laws, legislative advocacy on behalf of low-wage workers, settlement agreements and their tax implications, fighting retaliation and arbitration through the NLRB, and deconstructing important case wins, like that of the Del Monte Fresh workers.
By working to strengthen local low-wage worker advocates, NWJP hopes to improve access to high-quality attorney for workers and to expand the resources that low-wage workers have in Portland. Plus, you can’t beat the company of passionate and dedicated workers’ rights attorneys for a weekday lunch.
If you are interested in joining us, please contact Corinna at firstname.lastname@example.org.