Loyola’s Workplace Justice Project Receives Large Grant

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NEW ORLEANS – The Workplace Justice Project of the Loyola University New Orleans College of Law is celebrating a new three-year research grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation that it says will help to improve economic security of low-wage workers and families in Louisiana as the clinic educates workers on their rights and responsibilities, provides increased access to legal services and promotes equitable workforce policies.

“Litigation and education drive advocacy,” said Luz Molina, Jack Nelson Distinguished Professor of Law. “With the help of this grant, Loyola lawyers will both be able to provide education and increased access to legal representation to low-wage workers at a crucial time for our state – and, in so doing, further promote fairness in the workplace and in the courts.”

The Workplace Justice Project is one of seven nationally recognized legal clinics at Loyola New Orleans. Founded as a response to Hurricane Katrina in late 2005, the WJP represents low-income workers who earn below  200 percent of the federal poverty level. The $450,000 grant from the Kellogg Foundation marks the third large award the WJP has received from the national foundation since 2016 to do this critical work. 

In addition to providing legal representation and assistance with wage collection, the Workplace Justice Project serves as a consistently available referral resource for low-wage workers in the greater New Orleans area. The clinic also provides valuable education to both industry and residents on equity benchmarks – namely good jobs, collective action, and fair wages.

The Project has identified six critical factors that play into economic equity: work, health, education, transportation, the criminal justice system and housing. In this next phase of work, the Project will address workforce inequities in light of these other factors.

“This is crucial for us in addressing racial equity and indicates that our work with community stakeholders has increased our capacity to better reach individuals in need,” said Andrea Agee, staff attorney. “In all we do, we strive to give voice of our most vulnerable and provide the access and knowledge needed to move realistically toward improved outcomes.”

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