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Harvey Recovery – Workers Rights Attorney

Based in Houston, TX


In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Workers Defense Project is seeking a full-time Workers Rights Attorney to join our office in Houston, Texas.

The ideal candidate will be a community-minded attorney who is eager to support the building of worker power in Texas, and willing to take initiative in the uncertain landscape following Hurricane Harvey. They will have experience working directly with low-income workers and/or immigrants, educating the community, and practicing employment law. They will also have strong communication skills -- in both English and Spanish -- that will allow them to develop strong relationships with WDP members, partner attorneys, and community allies.

About Workers Defense Project and Harvey Recovery
Workers Defense Project is a membership-based immigrant and workers’ rights organization that builds power for low-income workers in Texas. Since its founding in 2002, the organization has gained notoriety for its ability to translate direct services and grassroots organizing into concrete policy wins. The New York Times named WDP as “one of the most creative organizations for immigrant workers in the country.” WDP concentrates its efforts on winning better working conditions in the construction industry, which is one of the largest industries, and consequently most powerful special interest groups, in Texas. Nearly half of the Texas construction workforce is undocumented.

It is estimated that one out of every four Texas construction workers -- more than 225,000 individuals -- live and work in the Houston area. In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, there will be no shortage of work to repair and rebuild. In this context, it is anticipated that immigrant workers will be subject to heightened exploitation, including wage theft, unsafe working conditions, and workplace injuries. The Workers’ Rights Attorney will expand WDP’s existing legal services to Houston, and will work with community partners to educate, empower, and assist the workers rebuilding the Houston area.

Job Responsibilities
The Workers’ Rights Attorney, who is based in Houston, Texas, is responsible for the following:

  • Supporting workers in employment-related legal matters arising in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey through advice, legal representation, and pro se assistance;
  • Establishing, participating in, and supervising regular workers’ rights legal clinics, including recruiting and training volunteers;
  • Providing informational sessions to the community on the rights of low-income workers;
  • Designing and updating know-your-rights materials in both English and Spanish;
  • Developing and maintaining strong working relationships with attorneys, government agencies, and other community organizations;
  • Supervising WDP staff to support the provision of legal services;
  • Coordinating with WDP staff to link the provision of legal services with organizing and policy objectives, including member leadership development;
  • Participating in the ongoing development of the program’s structure as Hurricane Harvey response unfolds; and
  • Additional tasks as assigned.

Qualifications
We’re seeking candidates who are eager to work in a community-based setting and who possess the initiative and problem-solving skills necessary to implement a workers rights program in an evolving landscape. You should also have:

  • Strong proficiency reading, writing, and speaking both English and Spanish;
  • At least two years of experience in legal practice;
  • At least one year of experience practicing employment law relevant to low-income workers;
  • At least one year of experience working directly with clients in the provision of legal services;
  • Experience providing community workshops or providing legal services in a clinic setting;
  • Proven ability to think strategically, act assertively when necessary, and speak confidently in public;
  • Experience managing different responsibilities, delegating tasks, and supporting the success of a team;
  • Experience in or willingness to learn and employ community-based tactics in resolving legal claims;
  • Ability to work irregular hours including some evenings and weekends;
  • Texas bar admission in good standing; and
  • An insured vehicle and valid driver’s license.

Experience in immigration law and community organizing are helpful but not required.

Compensation is competitive and is negotiable depending on experience.

How to Apply
Interested applicants should apply no later than November 18, 2017. To apply:

  • Please provide a cover letter, resume, and list of three references (in PDF format)
  • Please note in your cover letter (1) when you would be available to begin working with us and (2) your salary requirements.
  • Please send your application materials to both jobinquiries@workersdefense.org and shana@workersdefense.org, and include “Houston Workers Rights Attorney” in the subject line.
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered.

As an equal opportunity employer, Workers Defense Project embraces diversity and does not discriminate in employment on the basis of age, race, color, creed, gender, religion, marital status, veteran’s status, national origin, disability, or sexual orientation. Women and people of color are strongly encouraged to apply.

WHEN APPLYING: Be sure to indicate that you saw this information at UNIONJOBS.COM.