TakeRoot Justice (“TakeRoot”) seeks applicants with at least three (3) years relevant substantive legal experience for the position of Staff Attorney to join TakeRoot’s Worker’s Rights practice (“practice”), which includes a Director, two Senior Staff Attorneys, a Staff Attorney, and a Paralegal/Advocacy Coordinator.
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.
What You Will Do:
- Provide direct legal assistance to community groups and their members in the areas of labor and employment law, such as claims of wage and hour violations, discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation, and sick leave violations;
- Represent low-wage workers in wage-and-hour actions in federal and state court, and before the New York State Department of Labor, in matters involving non-payment of wages, minimum wage and overtime violations, tip stealing, unlawful deductions;
- Represent low-wage workers in anti-discrimination actions in federal and state court and before the New York City Commission on Human Rights, in matters involving unlawful discrimination, hostile work environment, and sexual harassment claims;
- Represent low-wage workers in other workplace claims before administrative agencies such as sick leave claims filed at the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs and Worker Protection;
- Help train community groups and their members on workers’ rights; and
- Participate in internal governance functions of TakeRoot.
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 and prioritizes professional development;
- You are skilled in working together with various individuals and perspectives;
- You are able to work with individuals from various cultural and professional backgrounds;
- 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;
- Fluency in a foreign language is strongly preferred, with Spanish being a priority;
- Federal court litigation experience is preferred;
- Legislative and/or regulatory advocacy experience 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.
Salary and Compensation:
A salary competitive in the NYC legal services community and excellent benefits package is available, including generous vacation, personal, and sick time, along with strong medical and dental coverage. This is a bargaining unit position represented for collective bargaining purposes by the National Organization of Legal Services Workers, UAW, Local 2320.
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. TakeRoot Justice is an equal opportunity employer. TakeRoot encourages applications from people with diverse backgrounds, including women, people of color, immigrants, people with disabilities, LGBTQ people, people from low-income backgrounds, and people with personal experience with the criminal justice system. We strongly encourage applications from people with lived experiences in the communities we serve.
Interested applicants should send a resume, cover letter, and writing sample by email to email@example.com, Attn: Tito Sinha. Please include “WR Staff Attorney” in the subject line. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until we fill the position.