Port Driver Wage Advocate or Attorney, Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE)


Founded in 1993, LAANE (Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy) is a nationally recognized advocacy organization dedicated to building a new economy for all. Combining dynamic research, innovative public policy, and strategic organizing of broad alliances, LAANE promotes a new economic approach based on good jobs, thriving communities, and a healthy environment. For the past 25 years, LAANE has been at the forefront of Los Angeles’ progressive movement, transforming conditions in key industries and improving the lives of hundreds of thousands of working families in southern California. For more information about our work, visit www.laane.org

Campaign Description: LAANE is currently seeking a full-time Port Driver Wage Advocate or Attorney to support our campaign to win justice for workers in the port trucking industry at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. These are the largest ports in the country, responsible for nearly half of all U.S. containerized trade. This campaign seeks to achieve economic justice for the 12,000 low-wage, mostly immigrant truck drivers at the Ports —most of whom are denied legal rights by being misclassified as “independent contractors.” The resulting wage theft was documented in a USA Today Pulitzer-finalist investigative series. Over the past several years, the campaign has made great strides in bringing about change through worker action, coalition building and policy work, along with a legal strategy through which drivers are reclaiming their rights as employees by bringing misclassification and wage theft claims to government agencies and courts. 

Position Responsibilities: The Port Driver Wage Advocate or Attorney will advance the campaign’s legal enforcement work. Their primary responsibility will be representation of port truck drivers in wage theft claims with the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE), including intake, claim preparation, and representation in Labor Commissioner hearings. Other responsibilities will include other misclassification- related administrative claims such as retaliation complaints and Employment Development Department appeals. Depending on qualifications, they may represent drivers in court to defend drivers’ rights to claims, for instance defending drivers against employers’ efforts to force claims into private arbitration. Other responsibilities may include legal research, both to identify potential new legal strategies, and to stay up-to- date on any changes in laws affecting our work. They will also be an active member of the LAANE Ports team, and will support the work of the organization and the Ports team as a whole. They will also coordinate closely with worker organizers and the broader campaign team, within the context of an ongoing organizing campaign. 

Qualifications: We are seeking a dedicated and passionate person with a demonstrated commitment to worker justice. While a law degree is desirable, it is not required; a strong candidate could also be a detail- oriented organizer or a researcher with an organizing background, for example. Minimum two years’ experience representing workers in wage claims or similar work required. Additional skills required: written and verbal communications skills, intake/interviewing skills, Spanish fluency, case management and organizational skills, ability to work well in a team. Also needed: willingness to work long hours and weekends when necessary, and ability to work independently. Driving own car required. Strong preference for: experience within the labor movement or with a social justice organization, attorney licensed with the California State Bar. 

Terms of employment: Starting salary is $48,000 – $52,000, depending on experience. Starting salary if an attorney licensed with the California State Bar is $58,000 – $60,000. Full health benefits; retirement plan; generous time off; parking. Friendly, team-oriented working environment. 

Application Process: This position is available immediately. E-mail cover letter and resume to Jessica Durrum at portsjob@laane.org. No phone calls please. Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements will not receive a response.