10 Systemic Injustices & How We’re Fighting Them

Our multi-pronged approach means we can challenge harmful systems and structures on multiple levels. See our strategy.


1.  Problem: Essential workers are denied paid sick days, contributing to highly disproportionate rates of pandemic infection and death in Black and Latinx communities.

  • 2020 Solution: We organized support for the federal Healthy Families Act (H.R. 1784) to provide paid, job-protected sick days to the one in four U.S. workers who currently don’t have access.

2.  Problem: Our country depends on essential workers to keep society and the economy running, yet they are denied basic rights like time off to care for sick family members.

  • 2020 Solution: In California, we co-led a successful campaign (SB 1383) to expand Paid Family Leave to the 40% of workersmostly low-paidwho were previously denied it, allowing them time off to care for a sick family member or new child.

3.  Problem: During the pandemic, women were pushed out of work at much higher rates than men, in large part due to lack of affordable, reliable child care.

  • 2020 Solution: In California, we successfully advocated for an increased budget allocation to expand child care access for essential and low-paid workers and provide financial resources to child care programs that remained open during the pandemic.


4.  Problem: Pregnant workers are refused basic job accommodations like a stool to sit on or keeping a water bottle at their station.

  • 2020 Solution: We sued on behalf of pregnant essential workers who were denied reasonable accommodations in essential jobs at grocery stories and airport security.

5.  Problem: Many new parents are required to return to work just days after giving birth in order to keep their jobs.

  • 2020 Solution: We won 12 weeks of job-protected leave for new parents through California SB 1383.

6.  Problem: Egregious pay discrimination against women and people of color still exists in nearly every field.

  • 2020 Solution: We supported equal pay bills in states across the country through our Women’s Agenda Initiative and Equal Pay Today campaign, and led the successful campaign for California’s new pay data transparency bill (SB 973), which will expose pay discrimination.

7.  Problem: Immigrant workers’ labor feeds the country, and yet they are denied livable wages so they can feed their families.

  • 2020 Solution: We joined a nationwide effort to raise the minimum wage to at least $15 per hour, as well as a worker-led campaign to raise awareness about rampant abuse against immigrant women in the food production industry.

8.  Problem: Many tipped workers are paid only $2.13 per hour on the federal subminimum wage, forcing them to endure sexual harassment because they must rely on customer tips to survive.

  • 2020 Solution: We joined other organizations in calling for an end to the subminimum wage for tipped workers–including by raising awareness about its slavery and Jim Crow legacy–and organized ERA action-takers to call Governor Cuomo.

9.  Problem: Companies and schools ignore reports of sexual assault and harassment with impunity.

  • 2020 Solution: We provided free legal help to many students whose schools mishandled their reports of sexual violence, and we sued Betsy DeVos over Title IX changes that let schools off the hook. We also sued one of the largest facilities management companies on behalf of Latinx women janitorial workers whose reports of sexual assault by supervisors were ignored.

10.  Problem: Schools are allowed to punish students because of their gender identity, race, and ethnicity.

  • 2020 Solution: We provided free legal support and Title IX representation to LGBTQ+ students who experienced discrimination at school based on their gender identity, in addition to creating new resources and LGBTQ+ competency training to youth social service organizations. We also supported the CROWN Act Campaign to outlaw policies and practices that discriminate against natural hair for Black girls and students

Let’s continue fighting these oppressive forces in concrete ways. We work together as donors, online activists, parents, workers, students, and voters to secure a future of true gender, racial, and economic justice for all.

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We may be able to provide free legal help for the following issues at California schools: gender and LGBTQI+ discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual assault.

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Posible que podamos proveer ayuda legal por gratis por los siguientes problemas en el trabajo o la escuela: discriminación basado en el género o por LGBTQI+, acoso sexual, asalto sexual, y discriminación basado en el embarazo o por ser padre/madre.


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