For this interview, we spoke with Dan Johnson from Breskin, Johnson & Townsend. Founding Donors have made deep, lasting investments in the success of Fair Work Center.
Why did you choose to practice employment law?
Dan Johnson: “I worked at the Employment Law Center in San Francisco in law school, and also volunteered at the workers’ rights legal clinic at my school in Berkeley California, where I went to law school. From there, I knew I wanted to do employment law, and I knew I wanted to work on the employee side. My values have always been to look out for the little guy.
What are some challenges you see for workers today?
DJ: “So often the employer has all the resources on their side. What we see happening more and more in cases we represent is employers using their resources to take unreasonable stands, dig in their heels and stretch things out as long as possible, trying to wear down the employee or employees making a claim. These cases impact employees’ entire livelihood – it’s about their jobs and how they support their families – but they get fought for a long, long time. And I think sometimes justice delayed is justice denied.”
What change would you like to see to improve the welfare of all working people?
DJ: So many things! This legal clinic is one. I think there are dozens of people walking around in every neighborhood in this city that every day have some sort of legal issue in their workplace. Most of them probably never get any legal support. So community clinics like this one are great opportunities for people to get their questions answered and hopefully to get some relief for wrongs they experienced. Another is the minimum wage. Thankfully we’ve raised it here in Seattle and now Washington, but we’ve got a long way to go in most places around the country.
Why does your firm support Fair Work Center?
DJ: “Since I moved back to Seattle after law school, I really wanted to see something like the Worker’s Rights Clinics in California started here. But I couldn’t do it on my own and was too busy trying to build my own firm. So, I am really excited it has finally happened here with the Fair Work Legal Clinic.
There are so many people walking around with questions about their work or problems in their workplace that could probably be resolved if the right connections were made. I think that’s what the Fair Work Legal Clinic is doing, connecting people with answers and solutions to the problems they are having at work. And the bigger impact the Legal Clinic can have is that employers may be more inclined to do the right thing knowing that their employees now know their rights and have access to free legal services.”
Read more from Fair Work News:
- Fair Work Center’s 2016 Annual Report
- Fair Work Legal Clinic Case Briefs
- Interview with Founder and President of Fair Work Center, David Rolf
- Interview with Founding Donors:
- Save the date: Sing Into Spring fundraiser for Fair Work Center – March 23, 2017, The Royal Room