2016 Equal Justice Works Fellow, Andrea Obando

Andrea Obando

Name of Host Organization: Equal Rights Advocates
City, State: San Francisco, California
Issue area: Workers' Rights
Sponsors: Viacom; Munger, Tolles & Olson Foundation

The Project

Eliminate barriers to economic security for low-wage women of color in California by enforcing equal pay laws and using legal advocacy and community outreach to expand their access to high-wage jobs.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project: 
California women lose more than $33 billion a year to gender wage gap. Due to occupational segregation women cover 67% of minimum wage workers but less than 4% of the workforce in the construction trades. Apprenticeships are the leading entry point into higher paying construction jobs, but fewer than 6% are women. Ensuing equal access requires increased attention to improving conditions on the job, with 40% of tradeswomen facing sexual harassment or discrimination that lead them to quit.
What's Next: 
In the first six months, Andrea will:
• Develop or update Know Your Rights materials regarding the Fair Pay Act and workplace sexual harassment to educate clients on their rights.
• Identify and collaborate with community-based organizations to conduct targeted outreach to women of color seeking relief.
• Develop training materials for pro bono attorneys to increase the project’s capacity to serve clients.
The Right Person For This Project: 
Andrea is the right person for the project because:
• She has dedicated her legal career to protecting workers and advancing their rights through constant advocacy.
• She has experience counseling clients on employment related issues and has a unique understanding of the legal landscape.

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