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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.

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with Serving Justice

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


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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.


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.

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