Neighborhood Legal Services (NLSA) has a long history of representation of clients in unemployment compensation cases. In 2006-2007, NLSA increased employment related representation to include other legal issues related to a client’s need to achieve a basic level of income e.g. job preservation and removal of barriers to employment by expungement of criminal records and child abuse allegations, and pursuing unpaid wage claims. NLSA began providing advice on pardon issues; terminations of employment for medical leave usage or child support garnishment of wages; occupational license issues; non-compete agreement issues; access to income streams related to employment e.g., pensions and employer provided disability benefits; misclassification of workers as independent contractors; discrimination in employment; and at will discharges. As part of this project, NLSA also provides outreach and community education to community groups and clients.
NLSA’s Employment Project Coordinator, Edward Van Stevenson, coordinates the activities of the staff attorneys and paralegals working on the project. In 2011-2012, NLSA conducted 15 outreach events for 164 individuals, and provided employment law training to such organizations as Allegheny County Career Link, the Lawrence County Community Action Partnerships, the Women’s Center and Shelter, Allegheny County Senior Training and Employment Program, and Addison Behavioral Care.