COMMUNITY

CAMPAIGNS

The Austin Community Law Center's Community Campaigns are a combined effort of our nonprofit law firm, allies, and volunteers to improve longstanding problems in our community.

Volunteer now with with our Community Campaigns

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with Serving Justice

Serving Justice is our campaign to ​protect workers' rights in the restaurant industry.

 

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It gets worse:

 

  • In a 2016 study, the Department of Justice found 95% of Austin restaurants studied were violating one or more provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act, such as refusing to pay overtime; instituting illegal tip pools; or making illegal deductions from wages.

  • 40% of women in the fast food industry experience unwanted sexual behaviors on the job. Almost half of those workers felt compelled to accept it out of financial necessity, and reported impact to their health including increased anxiety, depression, sleep disruption.

 

The Solutions

 

  • Mass outreach and education about workers’ rights under the federal employment laws.

  • Legal clinics and impact litigation to enforce legal rights.

  • Organizing workers to civic engagement and exercising collective power.

The Issues

 

About 10% of workers in the U.S. are employees in the restaurant industry. Many restaurant jobs have low pay, no benefits, and little job security.

 

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with Fair Chance Housing

Fair Chance Housing is our campaign to ​combat housing discrimination against people with a conviction history.

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The Issues

 

Nearly one-third the adults in the U.S. have a criminal record. That is roughly the same number of that have four-year college degrees.

For a person with a conviction history, it is immensely difficult to rent an apartment in Austin. A report from the Austin/Travis County Reentry Roundtable, gathered data by surveying apartment complexes, and found:

  • At least half the apartments surveyed denied applications from people with any kind of felony conviction.

  • Almost a quarter will reject an applicaant because an arrest history alone, even if charges were later dismissed.

 

Families with these rental barriers often pay pay higher rent for worse conditions; have greater reason to fear retaliation from landlords; and are more likely to live further from jobs and good schools.

 

The Solutions

 

  • Mass outreach and education about renters’ rights under the Fair Housing Act.

  • Legal clinics and impact litigation to enforce legal rights.

  • Organizing renters to civic engagement and exercising collective power.