Our Mission

The Center for WorkLife Law is an advocacy and research organization at UC Hastings Law that seeks to advance racial, gender, and class equity. At WorkLife Law, we address inequality at a structural level by developing and implementing concrete, evidence-based interventions in schools and workplaces and changing public policy at the state and national levels. We are extremely strategic in how we approach each structural intervention, forging partnerships with grassroots groups and field experts to identify the best change levers to tackle the problem at hand. With our interventions, we aim to produce dramatic changes within a two to five year timeframe. Our main areas of impact are economic security, maternal & child health, education equity, and racial and gender justice in the workplace. Throughout the pandemic, our team has also mobilized a COVID-19 emergency response, applying our legal expertise to help protect workers’ rights during the crisis.

 

These are just some of the problems that U.S. workers currently face. At the Center for WorkLife Law, we intervene on these problems through both systems-level change and individual interventions.

Learn More About the Center for WorkLife Law's Impact

WorkLife Law News

A Message of Hope for Breastfeeding Workers from Staff Attorney Jessica Lee

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At the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee biannual Membership Meeting, WorkLife Law staff attorney Jessica Lee addressed USBC’s 100+ member organizations, who are working collaboratively to drive policy and practice changes that create a landscape of breastfeeding support. Watch Jessica’s inspiring “Mission Moment” — acknowledging both the struggles of this unprecedented time and the hope on the horizon for working families. As Jessica says, “We’re close to seeing some of the biggest changes and advances in racial equity in maternal and infant health in a decade, if not a generation…The PUMP Act, and so many of the efforts that give me hope, have only happened because of the community fostered here at the USBC. You bring our diverse experiences and skills together to make a beautiful and strong force working on behalf of families.”

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PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act Passes with Bipartisan Support in U.S. House of Representatives

Center for WorkLife Law celebrates the House passage of the bipartisan Providing Urgent Maternal Protections (PUMP) for Nursing Mothers Act (H.R. 3110). This bill would address legislative gaps that have created challenges for breastfeeding families and employers alike.
“Today’s House vote to pass the PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act represents an important step in fixing broken policies that force women to choose between their jobs and their family’s wellbeing,” said Liz Morris, Deputy Director of the Center for WorkLife Law. “As detailed in our report, Exposed: Discrimination Against Breastfeeding Workers, nearly 2/3 of breastfeeding discrimination cases end in job loss; something we simply cannot afford during the pandemic as millions of women have been forced to leave the workforce because of their caregiving responsibilities. The PUMP Act is bipartisan legislation that would ensure lactating workers no longer lose their jobs or face serious health consequences because they lack basic legal rights.”
Read our joint press release here.

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WorkLife Law Launches Dar a Luz to Empower Farmworkers in Pregnancy and Postpartum

In 2019, WorkLife Law advocated with California’s Employment Development Department (EDD), which administers the state’s worker-funded State Disability Insurance (SDI), to ensure that farmworkers could access critical paid leave early in pregnancy. Dar a Luz, a collaboration with the Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE), continues this critical effort to support and empower farmworkers who need paid time off work to avoid harmful exposure to agricultural toxins during pregnancy, and the postpartum and nursing period.

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Featured Publications

Learn about WorkLife Law’s COVID-19 Resources and Helpline.
Aprenda más sobre los recursos y la línea telefonica de ayuda COVID-19 de WorkLife Law.
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