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Low wage and immigrant workers are easily exploited and often become the victims of systemic wage and hour violations. Effectively representing these workers has and will continue to present unique challenges for private wage and hour lawyers. The panelists discuss: the impact of immigration status on available relief; working with low-wage and immigrant-based community organizations; preparing clients for depositions and trial, including addressing immigration-related questions during the course of depositions; additional defense tactics and how to combat them; the legal implications for employers who report workers to ICE, and preventing and redressing retaliation.
Bryce W. Ashby Bryce W. Ashby is an attorney with Donati Law, PLLC in Memphis, Tennessee where he concentrates his practice on representing individual workers in employment law issues. Mr. Ashby, who speaks Spanish, focuses much of his practice on representing...MoreBryce W. Ashby is an attorney with Donati Law, PLLC in Memphis, Tennessee where he concentrates his practice on representing individual workers in employment law issues. Mr. Ashby, who speaks Spanish, focuses much of his practice on representing immigrant workers. He clerked for Judge Bernice B. Donald from 2008–2009 prior to her elevation to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals from the federal district court in the Western District of Tennessee, and is the current President of the Tennessee Employment Lawyers Association (TENNELA). Collapse
M. Nieves Bolaños Maria de las Nieves Bolaños was an attorney with Robin Potter & Associates beginning in 2009 and is now a partner at Potter Bolaños LLC. She represents plaintiffs in wage and hour, whistleblower and False Claims Act, employment discrimination, and...MoreMaria de las Nieves Bolaños was an attorney with Robin Potter & Associates beginning in 2009 and is now a partner at Potter Bolaños LLC. She represents plaintiffs in wage and hour, whistleblower and False Claims Act, employment discrimination, and retaliation litigation. Ms. Bolaños has litigation experience at the state and federal levels, as well as with local administrative agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Illinois Department of Human Rights, and the Illinois Education Labor Relations Board. Ms. Bolaños’ experience includes representation of single plaintiffs and class and collective actions at all stages of litigation, including trial. She was a contributing author to the ABA/BNA Fair Labor Standards Act Treatise Midwinter Reports in 2015 and 2016, and has been a panelist and/or moderator with the Chicago Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association, NELA Illinois’ Seventh Circuit Conferences, and NEL A’s Annual Conventions. Ms. Bolaños is currently a member of the NELA Executive Board, as well as NELA’s Diversity Equity & Inclusion Committee and Low Wage Worker Committee. Collapse
Christopher J. Williams Christopher J. Williams is the former Director of the Working Hands Legal Clinic (WHLC) in Chicago and currently serves on its Legal Advisory Committee. WHLC is a non-profit legal clinic that works with a network of community-based worker centers to...MoreChristopher J. Williams is the former Director of the Working Hands Legal Clinic (WHLC) in Chicago and currently serves on its Legal Advisory Committee. WHLC is a non-profit legal clinic that works with a network of community-based worker centers to support workplace justice campaigns and to bring access to legal services for low wage and immigrant Illinois workers in the area of labor and employment law. In addition to direct representation services, WHLC has works on policy issues related to employment in low-wage jobs and fights to remove barriers to low-wage workers exercising their rights and being paid for their work. As WHLC's Director In 2009 and 2010, Chris worked extensively with a taskforce of state agencies, including the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) and community advocacy organizations to examine the existing wage theft statute, the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act (IWPCA), and to identify ways the law could be improved and more effectively for enforced. The 2011 amendments to the IWPCA were the result of the work of this taskforce and the Director of IDOL’s vision and serves as a model for states across the country. In addition, Chris has worked extensively on issues related to abuse of employment eligibility verification systems and, in 2006, worked the Illinois legislature, IDOL and community advocacy organizations to create the strongest law protecting day laborers in the nation, the Illinois Day and Temporary Labor Services Act (“IDTLSA”). Prior to practicing law, Chris spent over a decade as a union organizer for Chicago area labor unions and was a founding member of a Chicago-based worker center. Chris has conducted over 350 wage and hour and employment discrimination cases. Collapse
Representing Low-Wage Workers & Immigrant Workers - Paper
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