Workers’ Rights Advocacy Coordinator/Paralegal

TakeRoot Justice seeks applicants for the position of Workers’ Rights Advocacy Coordinator/ Paralegal and join our existing Workers’ Rights team (“the WR team”).  The WR team 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.  WR Team strives to engage in community lawyering, which support the organizing campaigns of partner organizations and equally importantly, which place the stories of workers and their empowerment at the center of the advocacy. The WR team represents workers with minimum wage and overtime violations, tip theft, labor trafficking, retaliation, discrimination, and sexual harassment claims through direct negotiations with employers, administrative agency filings, and federal/state court litigation.  The successful candidate will be passionate about centering the workers’ stories and experience in the advocacy, and also building collective worker power and advocating for low-wage workers, particularly immigrants and people of color connected to grassroots organizing campaigns. They will also have an understanding of TakeRoot’s community lawyering model.

What you will be doing:

  • Working with a team of dedicated attorneys on cutting-edge legal issues affecting low-wage and immigrant workers;
  • Working with community partner groups in organizing intakes and clinics, and helping create, maintain, and improve the best practices involved;
  • Working with attorneys to create workshops and presentations for community partners and their members on workers’ rights issues;
  • Working with clients for case management, such as communicating with clients about the status and development of their cases, and creating, maintaining, and organizing client files;
  • Working with TakeRoot’s Resource Management Team in exchanging information needed for contract management such as creating and maintaining the system of enrolling case intakes;
  • Working with clients and attorneys in obtaining supporting documents for contract enrollment;
  • Helping to interpret in client meetings and at court or other agency appearances;
  • Performing legal and administrative support tasks including filing court papers, serving legal documents, document review, completing forms, and conducting research;
  • Conducting background investigations of businesses and employers using various resources, preparing investigation memos or summaries;
  • Attending coalition and campaign work meetings as needed; and
  • Assisting other practice areas with occasional administrative tasks or interpretation assistance.

Who You Are:

  • 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;
  • You have strong organizational skills;
  • You can work during occasional evenings and weekends;
  • You have experience working with low-wage immigrant workers or other vulnerable communities (preferred);
  • You have experience working with or in worker centers or other community-based organizations (preferred);
  • A commitment of 2+ years is requested due to the steep learning curve of this position; and
  • You are fluent in Spanish (strongly preferred).

About the Organization

TakeRoot Justice (“TakeRoot”) was founded in 2001 as the Community Development Project at the Urban Justice Center and 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. We believe in a theory of change where short-term and individual successes help build the capacity and power of our partners, who in turn can have longer-term impact on policies, laws and systems that affect their communities. Our work has greater impact because it is done in connection with organizing, building power and leadership development.  Internally, all staff engage in a democratic process of decision-making to help move resolutions along that affect all staff. These decisions can range from the providing input on budgets to reimagining the organizational structure. To learn more about TakeRoot, visit takerootjustice.org.

TakeRoot’s budget has more than doubled in size in the past three years, mainly through a significant increase in government funding. We separated from the Urban Justice Center and became an independent nonprofit organization on July 1, 2019.

Timeline, Benefits & Compensation

The anticipated start date for this position is immediate.

A competitive salary and excellent benefits package is available, with generous vacation, personal, and sick time, along with industry-leading medical and dental coverage. TakeRoot’s staff are on a fixed salary scale, and the salary for this position will be determined based on years of relevant experience in accordance with the scale. This is a bargaining unit position represented for collective bargaining purposes by the National Organization of Legal Services Workers, UAW, Local 2320.

Application Instructions

Interested applicants should send a resume and cover letter by email to jobs@takerootjustice.org, attn: Tito Sinha. The subject line of the email must include: “Advocacy Coordinator/Paralegal” Applications must be received by October 16, 2020 and will be considered on a rolling basis.

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.