The Worker Justice Center of New York's mission is to pursue justice for those denied human rights with a focus on agricultural and other low wage workers, through legal representation, community empowerment and advocacy for institutional change.
WJCNY was created in 2011 through the merger of Farmworker Legal Services of New York and the Workers’ Rights Law Center. We are now the leading provider of non-profit legal assistance in employment law matters for low-wage workers in the Hudson Valley and Upstate New York, serving over 5,000 low-wage workers annually from our offices in Rochester, Kingston, and Hawthorne. Our clients are primarily farmworkers and immigrant workers in the food processing, construction, landscaping, restaurant, janitorial, hospitality, and domestic service industries who are disproportionately affected by labor abuses such as wage theft, discrimination, labor trafficking, and unsafe working conditions. We prioritize impact-oriented legal assistance by which we can help the greatest number of individuals and families. Our lawyers, paralegals, and workers rights advocates seek to identify company-wide and egregious legal violations that warrant intensive investigation, worker outreach, organizing, and aggressive legal advocacy to effectively achieve justice for workers. Each year, our worker rights' advocates reach thousands of workers on farms and in communities throughout the Hudson Valley and Upstate New York, providing essential information and training to workers who are otherwise largely isolated from service providers and access to legal assistance. Recognized internationally as a leader in fight to combat human trafficking, WJCNY works to identify and dismantle human trafficking schemes while helping survivors access services to help them regain control of their lives. Our trafficking specialists routinely train governmental, human service, and community agencies (both domestically and internationally) on the topic of trafficking prevention and investigation, as well as leading regional anti-trafficking task forces across the state. With support from our survivor services case management team, our immigration legal practice specializes in assisting survivors of labor trafficking, sexual abuse, and domestic violence and is growing to include representation on a broad variety of immigration matters affecting immigrant workers in agriculture and other low-wage industries. In addition to providing direct services, WJCNY confronts systemic injustices by supporting worker organizing and advocating for policy changes at the local, state, and federal levels. We partner with grassroots community-based organizations and worker centers to support collective action and empowerment across the state.