Clients' Stories

Clients’ Stories of the Workers’ Rights Program of La Raza Centro Legal

 Mr. Persistent et al. vs. Divisadero Car Wash

Mr. Strong, 78; Mr. Hope, 64; Mr. Gentle, 52; Mr. Persistent, 57; and Ms. Felicity, 48; were unjustly fired from a San Francisco Car Wash.  All of them have worked there between 10 to 15 years each.  They were fired illegally and were discriminated against when their employer unlawfully used the E-Verify immigration verification program.  The California Labor Commissioner determined that they were discriminated against in violation of Labor Code section 2814 because their employment termination was based on the unlawful use of the E-Verify system.  Labor Code section 2814 makes it unlawful for an employer, or any other person or entity to use the federal electronic employment verification system known as E-Verify to check the employment authorization status of an existing employee or an applicant who has not been offered employment at the time or in a manner not required under Federal Law.  This was the first determination in California based on Labor Code section 2814


  • Employees were granted lost wages
  • Civil penalties of $10,000 per violation were imposed to the Employer
  • Post Notice of the violation for all employees to protect them of future violations.

California vs. Forever 21

Mr. Valiant, Mr. Loyalty and Mr. Sceptic all janitors/cashiers at Forever 21’s flagship store in San Francisco, after working there between 10 to 8 years each, one day, they were simply told that “they were not allowed to speak Spanish at work”.  When they complained about the English-Only policy they suffered retaliation in the form of reduced work hours and harassment.  We alleged that this was an unlawful employment practice of discrimination based on national origin, and a failure to take all steps to prevent discrimination from occurring at the work place.  Since, it is an unlawful employment practice for an employer to adopt or enforce a policy that limits or prohibits the use of any language in any workplace, unless certain conditions exist.


  • $30,000 per worker plus an undisclosed severance amount per employee.
  • Post Notice to all Forever 21 California employees that an English only policy is prohibited.
  • A course for management regarding the prohibition of an English only policy

Los Luchadores vs. RESMEX

Following an investigation initiated by the Workers’ Rights Program of La Raza Centro Legal, the Labor Commissioner cited RESMEX, a Mexican Bistro, for minimum wage payments in the form of split-shift premiums; meal period premiums; rest period premiums violations; liquidated damages and waiting time penalties owed to ALL its workers.  This decision benefited at least 40 workers.


  • RESMEX was cited to pay the total sum of $739,354.87.