Everyone who goes to work each day should make a living wage. Yet, poverty-wage jobs are rapidly growing, stifling our economy and making it more and more difficult for Americans to get ahead.
Despite the fact that low-wage workers have jobs, they live in extreme crises, where evictions, utility shut-offs, and food shortages represent the norm. Lives that are already too difficult are made even harder when employers deprive low-wage workers of the minimum wage and overtime pay, when landlords discriminate and commit other abuses, and when car dealerships, debt collectors and pay day lenders engage in unfair and deceptive practices.
The Heartland Center for Jobs and Freedom handles employment and consumer cases on the behalf of low-wage workers. We know that only one out of five low-income individuals succeed in securing the legal assistance they need. By providing legal services to low-wage workers, the Heartland Center assists workers who would otherwise go without representation. These cases also hold abusive companies accountable for gross misconduct and help deter abuse.
The Heartland Center for Jobs and Freedom conducts workshops with low-wage workers to apprise them of their rights as employees, as tenants and as consumers. Equipped with this information, low-wage workers are better able to protect themselves and their co-workers from abuse and exploitation.
The Heartland Center for Jobs and Freedom understands that lawyers acting alone cannot produce the change our country needs. History teaches us that social movements – masses of ordinary people uniting for change – hold transformative power. The Heartland Center for Jobs and Freedom supports movements to improve wages and working conditions, overcome racial divisions, and ensure low-wage workers have a voice on the job and at the ballot box.