Temporary/Part-Time Workers’ Rights Staff Attorney

TakeRoot Justice (“TakeRoot”) seeks applicants to cover the partial leave of a Staff Attorney and provide interim support to TakeRoot’s Workers’ Rights practice (“practice”), which includes a Director, a Paralegal/Advocacy Coordinator, a Senior Staff Attorney, and three Staff Attorneys, one of whom will be on partial leave. 

The practice conducts legal services for community-based worker centers and organizations in all five boroughs of New York City, representing low-wage workers in domestic, retail, service, construction, and manufacturing industries.  The legal work of the practice centers around federal and state court litigation and administrative agency adjudication of minimum wage and overtime violations, tip theft, retaliation, discrimination, sexual harassment, sick leave, and labor trafficking claims.  The practice also aims to support the organizing campaigns of partner organizations. 

The practice conducts remote legal clinics with worker centers and community-based organizations.  In addition to filing in federal and state courts in New York, the practice also files complaints before administrative agencies, including but not limited to the New York State Department of Labor, New York City Commission on Human Rights, the New York City Department of Consumer and Worker Protection, the New York State Division of Human Rights, and the New Jersey Department of Labor among others.  The successful candidate will be passionate about building collective worker power and advocating for low-wage workers, particularly immigrants and people of color connected to grassroots organizing campaigns and will have an understanding of working with organizers in TakeRoot’s unique model.  

This is a 24 hour per week contract worker position, starting as soon as possible.  The contract will last approximately 4-6 months.   

What You Will Do: 

  • Assist TakeRoot attorneys in representing low-wage workers in the areas of labor and employment law, such as claims of wage and hour violations, discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation, and sick leave violations; 
  • Assist TakeRoot attorneys in conducting intakes of workers with potential claims of labor and employment law violations; 
  • Prepare demand letters to employers on behalf of low-wage workers;  
  • Prepare claims to be filed at the New York State Department of Labor, New York City Commission on Human Rights, New York City Department of Consumer Affairs and Worker Protection and other administrative agencies; and 
  • Assist TakeRoot attorneys in litigation matters filed in federal and state court, including preparation of legal documents. 

Who You Are: 

  • You are admitted to the New York Bar, and have at least 3 years of relevant substantive legal experience; 
  • You enjoy, and are experienced in, working with a diverse team in a collaborative model that uplifts all voices on the team; 
  • You are a skilled communicator and have strong writing, analytical, and verbal communication skills;  
  • You are a strategic thinker, problem solver, and can exercise good judgment;  
  • Strong organizational skills required, and ability to work effectively to meet deadlines; 
  • Fluency in a foreign language is strongly preferred, with Spanish being a priority;  
  • Experience in federal court litigation and/or representing claimants before the New York State Department of labor is preferred;  
  • Experience working with low-wage, immigrant workers or other vulnerable communities is preferred; and  
  • Experience working with or in worker centers or other community-based organizations is preferred.  

Compensation 

The pay range for this position is $36 to $46 per hour.  

Who We Are: 

Background: TakeRoot Justice, formerly the Community Development Project of the Urban Justice Center provides legal, participatory research and policy support to strengthen the work of grassroots and community-based groups in New York City to dismantle racial, economic and social oppression. TakeRoot employs a unique model of partnership with grassroots and community-based groups. Our partners take the lead in determining the priorities and goals for our work, and advance our understanding of justice.  TakeRoot’s current practice areas are capacity building, consumer justice, equitable neighborhoods, tenants’ rights & housing justice, immigrants’ rights, participatory research and policy, and workers’ rights.  

Application instructions 

Interested applicants should send a resume, cover letter, and writing sample by email to jobs@takerootjustice.org, Attn: Tito Sinha.  Please include “Temporary P/T WR Staff Attorney” in the subject line.  Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until we fill the position. 

TakeRoot Justice is an equal opportunity employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, marital status, age, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, pregnancy, genetic information, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status, or any other status protected under the law. 

TakeRoot encourages applications from people with diverse backgrounds, including, but not limited to, women, people of color, immigrants, people with disabilities, LGBTGNCNBQI+ people, people from low-income backgrounds, people of all ages, and people with personal experience with the criminal justice system. We strongly encourage applications from people who have had lived experience in the communities we serve. TakeRoot believes that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success, and we seek to recruit, develop, and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool.