NATIONAL RESEARCH CONDUCTED BY PUBLIC RIGHTS PROJECT REVEALS MANY AMERICANS ARE VICTIMS OF CORPORATE WAGE THEFT, PREDATORY LENDING AND OTHER ABUSES; WANT PROSECUTORS TO PRIORITIZE ENFORCEMENT
Fifty-four percent of survey respondents report being victims of abusive business practices; shows need for prosecutors to prioritize corporate abuse cases
Earlier this month, Public Rights Project released national research that shows many Americans report they’ve been cheated on their wages, victimized by predatory landlords, preyed upon by lenders or suffered health effects from corporate pollution.
The research is the first-of-its-kind national survey and the results show an opportunity for prosecutors to place a higher priority on cases that will hold corporations accountable for violations that undermine communities’ health, safety, and economic security.
In the survey of 2,000 U.S. adults in March 2019 conducted by David Binder Research, 54 percent of respondents said they’d experienced corporate abuse in the last 10 years, including wage theft, predatory lending, predatory debt collection, unsafe rental housing conditions, or health problems due to pollution created by a business.
The research shows that despite many laws on the books to protect them, many Americans still are being taken advantage of by businesses flouting the law to steal wages, fail to provide safe housing or prey upon them with abusive lending practices.
PUBLIC RIGHTS PROJECT BRINGS TOGETHER NEARLY 100 LOCAL GOVERNMENTS IN AMICUS BRIEF SUPPORTING LGBT WORKERS
We, along with Freedom for All Americans, brought together a coalition of nearly 100 cities, counties and mayors to file an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to protect lesbian, gay, and transgender people from employment discrimination.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (“Title VII”) prohibits workplace discrimination because of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex. The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear three cases that will determine whether Title VII’s protection against sex discrimination prohibits discrimination on the bases of sexual orientation and gender identity.
At Public Rights Project, we believe that no one should fear discrimination or harassment at work because of their gender identity or sexual orientation. The brief argues that discrimination threatens communities and strains taxpayer resources, and that strong anti-discrimination laws benefit all residents.
"We believe cities and counties have valuable perspectives to offer about how legal decisions made at a national level impact our local communities. PRP is proud to partner with local officials across the country to elevate the voices of their most vulnerable residents."
LIJIA GONG, PRP STAFF ATTORNEY
PUBLIC RIGHTS PROJECT FILES AMICUS BRIEF IN SUPPORT OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT'S ABILITY TO COMBAT AFFORDABLE HOUSING CRISIS IN THE AGE OF THE INTERNET
We filed an amicus brief in support of the City of Santa Monica because we believe the Ninth Circuit ruled correctly by allowing cities to combat the affordable housing crisis and make policy decisions that benefit their communities in the age of the internet.
Our Founder & President Jill Habig wrote about the case here.
We are grateful to so many of our partners who were a part of this brief:
Baltimore Solicitor Andre Davis
Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein
Cook County (Illinois) State’s Attorney Kim Foxx
District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine
Oakland City Attorney Barbara J. Parker
San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera
Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes.
AFFIRMATIVE LEADERS FELLOWSHIP HIGHLIGHTS
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison recently announced the launch of a new Wage Theft Unit. We are proud that Affirmative Leaders Fellow & Asst Atty. Gen. Jonathan Moler will be part of this unit working to enforce Minnesota’s new law to protect workers’ rights—the strongest of its kind in the country. Huge shoutout to our friend and partner Terri Gerstein at the Harvard Labor and Worklife Program for helping to get it off the ground!
Affirmative Leaders Fellow & Salt Lake City Assistant City Attorney Allison Parks spoke at the National Convening on Local Consumer Financial Protection about Salt Lake City’s efforts to protect consumers from fraud and predatory business practices. Thanks to the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund for hosting a wonderful convening!
WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO THIS MONTH...
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT...
PRP Policy Director Jenny Montoya Tansey On Her Path To Public Service
Our very own Jenny Montoya Tansey was featured on Stanford University’s Haas Center For Public Service. Jenny worked with a coalition of justice reform advocates to make about a million Californians eligible for changes to their criminal records, and then automate systems to help them.
Jenny led the release of our national study Voices From The Corporate Enforcement Gapexamining the extent of corporate abuse across the country. We are so proud to have you on our team, Jenny!
California Cities And Counties Announce Groundbreaking $305 Million Settlement Of Landmark Lead Paint Litigation
A coalition of California cities and counties, led by our partners at the Santa Clara County Counsel, San Francisco City Attorney, & Oakland City Attorney, announced a historic $305 million settlement with three big lead paint manufacturers in a landmark case that spanned 20 years of litigation. For years, lead paint manufacturers knowingly promoted the use of toxic lead paint, which causes irreversible health consequences, especially among children.
Trump Administration Begins Enforcing Abortion "Gag Rule"
The Trump administration's decision to immediately bar family planning funds to groups, like Planned Parenthood, that perform or refer women for abortion could force some states and organizations to abandon the federal program that pays for contraception for low-income women. We’ve provided support to our partners in Oakland and across the country to advocate against the rule in federal district court in Oregon and Maryland, as well as the First and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeals.