Affirmative Litigation Program

Litigation Program

Centro Legal de la Raza’s Litigation Project works with both our Tenants’ and Workers’ Rights Programs to represent low-income and immigrant workers, tenants, and other clients and communities in affirmative lawsuits to protect their rights and improve working and living conditions more broadly.
These cases include lawsuits on behalf of hard-working employees against dishonest employers for wage theft, discrimination, retaliation, and violations of other federal, state, and local laws. Likewise, we represent low-income tenant families in lawsuits against unethical landlords for substandard housing conditions, illegal lockouts, unlawful rent increases, discrimination, retaliation, and violations of other tenant rights.

For instance, the Project’s cases have ranged from the successful representation of two undocumented, single-mother janitorial workers who were sexually assaulted by their supervisor, to a lawsuit on behalf of over 125 tenants and their children facing mold-induced asthma, lead poisoning, bedbug and rodent bites, and the other tragic consequences of substandard conditions at their apartment complex.

Centro Legal also co-counsels with highly respected law firm partners on important class actions to protect our clients and communities. Often, litigation in state and federal courts is the only way our clients can protect their rights. Through the Litigation Project, more Centro clients can assert their rights and improve conditions for the broader community.

In the last two years alone, Centro Legal has returned over $1.25 million to more than 200 low-income victims of wage theft, substandard housing conditions, and violations of other critical worker and tenant legal rights. With a Project budget of around $150,000, this means that for every $1 Centro Legal receives for this work, we put more than 4 times that amount in our clients’ pockets. These significant recoveries have a far broader impact as our clients reinvest in their families and communities. They also serve as compelling reminders to other employers and landlords of the consequences of failing to treat their workers and tenant fairly and comply with the law.

If you are interested in learning more about or supporting our Litigation Project, please contact Litigation Director Jesse Newmark at jessenewmark@centrolegal.org. If you are a client in need of assistance on a legal matter, please contact our Tenants’ or Workers’ Rights Programs directly here: