Partnership with San Francisco Department of Public Health and San Francisco General Hospital integrates basic employment rights information and referrals for free legal services into routine preventive health services.
Legal Aid at Work
January 1, 2015
The Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center (LAS-ELC) protects the rights and livelihoods of low-income workers by providing free legal help with urgent workplace problems. LAS-ELC assists workers from diverse backgrounds with a broad array of employment-related issues, including unpaid wages, discrimination, wrongful termination, harassment, and retaliation.
In response to the evolving needs of low-wage workers, LAS-ELC regularly develops and implements innovative new projects and initiatives. One recent example is the Work and Family Medical Legal Partnership (MLP), which helps ensure that pregnant women and new parents can maintain their employment and health benefits, thereby improving their health, well-being and economic security.
To achieve this goal, LAS-ELC partners with the San Francisco Department of Public Health and San Francisco General Hospital to help pregnant and parenting workers with employment-related legal issues, including job-protected leave, workplace accommodations, and income replacement benefits. The MLP integrates basic employment rights information and referrals for free legal services into routine preventive health services to ensure that all women are aware of workplace protections and receive legal assistance if needed.
The MLP provides this assistance through providing educational materials regarding the employment rights of pregnant women and new parents; training of health care providers about the employment protections available to their patients; implementation of targeted protocols for health care providers to screen for and disseminate employment rights resources at perinatal visits; and provision of free legal services to low- and moderate-income pregnant women and new parents, both through a toll-free helpline and monthly on-site clinics at the hospitals and clinics.
In 2014, LAS-ELC’s Work and Family helpline assisted over 1,000 clients with problems including pregnancy discrimination and denial of family and medical leave. And LAS-ELC recently created a series of know-your-rights resources that provide essential information in easy-to-use formats for employees who are pregnant or caring for a new child. Most workers have the right to job-guaranteed leave, paid time off, and accommodations, but many are unaware of these protections.Tags: Employment, Health Care, Medical-Legal Partnerships