General Counsel (May be remote; Florida, New York City, or Washington, DC preferred)

Coalition of Immokalee Workers
Florida

CIW’s Mission

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) is a non-profit human rights organization, based in Immokalee, Florida. Internationally recognized for its achievements in the field of corporate accountability—with a particular focus on the fight against human trafficking, forced labor and gender-based violence at work—the CIW is built on a foundation of farmworker community organizing reinforced by a national consumer network. The CIW’s work encompasses three broad and overlapping spheres: (1) the Fair Food Program; (2) the Anti-Slavery Program; and (3) the Campaign for Fair Food.

After more a decade of implementation, CIW’s Fair Food Program is widely recognized— including as the recipient of a Presidential Medal—as the gold standard in prevention of longentrenched abuses for the most vulnerable workers in corporate supply chains.

Job Description

The location of the successful candidate is negotiable, but would ideally be based in Florida, New York City, or Washington, D.C.

The General Counsel will oversee all legal matters relevant to the CIW’s programs, campaigns, policy advocacy, and daily operations, including supervision of junior attorneys and outside counsel. The legal work needed to support the CIW is exciting, wide-ranging, and complex, requiring versatility, creativity and comfort with exploring new terrain—mirroring the CIW’s dynamic, ground-breaking thinking, organizing and programs.

The success of the Fair Food Program (FFP) is based in part on legally binding Fair Food Agreements with large multi-national food retailers (“Participating Buyers”), which incentivize growers in those Participating Buyers’ supply chains to join the FFP and comply with the CIW’s Fair Food Code of Conduct (“Participating Growers”). The General Counsel will play a lead role related to contract drafting, negotiation and enforcement, and help to manage sensitive relationships between the CIW and Participating Buyers and Growers. The General Counsel will also provide legal counsel in support of CIW’s nationwide campaigns, ranging from marches and demonstrations, to campaign communications and strategy development as the CIW expands its operations in the U.S. and internationally, including both expansion of the Fair Food Program itself and collaboration with other groups to seeking to adapt its innovative Worker-driven Social Responsibility (WSR) model to new industries and geographies

The General Counsel will provide legal advice on the full range of general practice issues, such as human resources and intellectual property, necessary to ensure the smooth operation and success of the organization. In the event the CIW is involved in litigation, the General Counsel will manage that litigation, typically with the support of pro bono outside counsel. The General Counsel will assist with CIW’s efforts to advocate for improved government policies, especially as relates to human rights in supply chains. Additionally, CIW’s General Counsel provides legal support to other select organizations seeking to advance the WSR model pioneered by the CIW.

Responsibilities

  • Overseeing all legal work in support of CIW’s programs and campaigns, especially contract negotiation and enforcement, and including supervision of junior and outside counsel
  • Advising and strategizing with CIW on all sensitive matters, respecting the history, intelligence and expertise of the organization at all times
  • Providing counsel on the wide range of internal legal matters involved in operating CIW
  • Policy advocacy and aligned work with allied organizations, including representation of members of the Worker-driven Social Responsibility Network (WSRN) on the design and implementation of new WSR programs
  • Managing, along with any additional retained counsel, litigation or arbitration of any legal disputes involving the CIW

Qualifications

  • Juris Doctor (JD) from an accredited law school and active membership in a state bar, plus a willingness to sit for the Florida Bar Exam (if not already admitted to practice in Florida)
  • 5+ years of active legal practice, including litigation in state or federal court
  • An understanding of the intersection of law and organizing
  • Appreciation of and ability to support the expansion of CIW’s Worker-driven Social Responsibility (WSR) strategy and model
  • Superior critical, analytical, and strategic thinking and writing skills
  • Ability to work independently and as a member of a team while always centering the client
  • Commitment to using human rights principles to support movements that protect and promote the rights of poor and working people
  • Knowledge and experience related to contract negotiation and enforcement, human rights, and/or labor and employment law
  • Knowledge and experience related to representing low-wage workers and immigrants
  • Knowledge and experience related to representing organizers, activists, and/or social movements
  • Comfort communicating with authority (e.g., with law enforcement in protest settings or representatives of multinational corporations)
  • A good sense of humor
  • Availability to travel
  • Ability to speak Spanish preferred but not necessary

This position is open immediately and will be filled as soon as possible. The General Counsel, together with CIW’s other counsel, will be employed by an allied nonprofit organization, currently Partners for Dignity and Rights (PDR)*, facilitating representation of other WSR organizations as well. For more information or to begin your application, please send a resume and a detailed cover letter to Marley Monacello via email to marley@ciw-online.org. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.

*Partners for Dignity & Rights (P4DR) is a non-profit human rights organization based in New York City. P4DR serves as the anchor organization for the Worker-driven Social Responsibility Network and houses WSRN staff.

The salary at P4DR as of January 2023 is $79,825. In addition, staff are eligible for the following needs-based benefits that may be added to salary where applicable: dependent and childcare benefits (ranging from $2,500 to $10,000 a year for up to three dependents and not to exceed $20,000 total) and student loan benefits (up to $3,600 a year). P4DR pays for full health insurance, vision and dental insurance for staff (as well as partners and children), and offers an additional $4,000 to reimburse any medical costs not covered by insurance. P4DR offers 20 paid vacation days, 14 sick days and 6 personal days annually, and provides a Simple IRA retirement plan.

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