The Peggy Browning Fund 2020 Summer Newsletter

4 “My thanks to the Peggy Browning Fund and Mehri & Skalet for providing this incredible summer experience,” shared Autumn Clarke. 2020 Fellow Autumn Clarke Mehri & Skalet, PLLC Washington, DC A rising third-year law student at American University Washington College of Law (WCL), Autumn was awarded a Peggy Browning Fellowship at Mehri & Skalet, PLLC in Washington, DC. This experience enabled Autumn to put into practice the knowledge she obtained during her Employment and Labor class in law school. This summer, Autumn worked on several exciting employment-related cases. For example, she supported the firm’s efforts in advocating for employees who lost their jobs due to COVID-19 related circumstances. Autumn also worked on class action litigation related to employees who faced sexual assault and harassment in the workplace and on a class action suit where employees were denied promotions and raises because of a discriminatory evaluation system. Despite working remotely due to COVID-19, Autumn developed pro- fessionally by attending brown bags organizedbythefirmandvirtualpan- el sessions organized by PBF. She is excited to apply what she has learned this summer towards her next endeav- or as a student attorney at WCL’s civil advocacy clinic, where she will repre- sent low-wage workers in cases against exploitative employers. Arturo Gómez Wage Justice Center Los Angeles, CA The Wage Justice Center in Los Angeles, CA continued to enforce judgment liens and mechanics’ liens to secure worker-creditors’ debts from employer-debtors in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. Although they could not meet their clients directly, they were still able to conduct calls and keep them updated so they could secure economic relief through the payment of their stolen wages. Arturo’s personal work experience was in assisting in facilitating these discussions by scheduling the calls and conducting legal research to help their clients and to change the law long term. On the legal research side, Arturo was assigned to work in conjunction with a PhD candidate fromUCLA. He studied due process issues, raised against other states’ mechanics’ lien statutory schemes, in order to better understand how this helpful information could be applied towards forming a wage lien for California. In addition to longer-term policy research, he also conducted legal research for specific cases to assist in the office’s preparedness in helping their clients. “The pandemic may have dealt a blow to the working class’ well-being,” noted Arturo, a rising third year student at Southwestern Law School, “but our solidarity with their struggle, and our shared fight against those who seek to exploit and abuse them only strengthens.” Fellowship Facts, 2020 Type of Org. # of Orgs # of Fellowships % of Total Fellowships* Unions 23 37 40% Worker Centers & other NPOs 32 36 39% Union-Side Law Firms 14 19 21% Total 69 92* 100% * Includes one school-year fellowship