Columbia Legal Services has launched a groundbreaking tool to help thousands of Washington’s homeless youth find safety and stability, and understand their legal rights. The Homeless Youth Handbook - Legal Issues and Options is a unique and comprehensive guide to the laws and other issues that affect homeless youth in the state of Washington. The Handbook’s 18 chapters cover topics from education, health care and housing to consumer and credit issues. (more)
Columbia Legal Services is grateful to the The Seattle Foundation for their generous $15,000 grant. Funding will be used to support critical advocacy targeted to protecting affordable housing and other basic needs for vulnerable, disabled adults who are living in deepest poverty. Thank you!
Senate Bill 5147, which reinstates 72-hour family notification provisions that allowed youth shelters to promote family reunification and reconciliation, is one of the first bills to pass both houses this Legislative session! This change, which will have no fiscal impact, allows shelters to ensure that the youth has a safe and stable place to stay in times of crisis and allows the youth and their family time to resolve their conflicts and reunite. The bill awaits the Governor's signature. CLS attorney Diana Garcia contributed to the drafting of the bill's language.
Okanogan County Resident Files Civil Rights Complaint Against State Patrol for Discriminatory Interpreter PracticesPosted on November 2nd, 2012
A latino resident of Okanogan County filed a civil rights complaint against the Washington State Patrol, asserting that the Patrol uses unqualified, biased Border Patrol agents as interpreters. An earlier complaint from 1982 resulted in a court order prohibiting the practice and an Executive Order in 2000 specifically granted protections to non-English speakers in their dealings with government officials. (more)
A suit filed today by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charged that the National Food Corporation, a major supplier of eggs to the Pacific Northwestern and Midwestern United States and East Asia, violated federal law by allowing a supervisor to demand sex from a female employee as the price of keeping her job. (more)
A Seattle ordinance passed this week by a unanimous city council provides new oversight to ensure the quality of rental housing. CLS advocate Merf Ehman worked as a key member of a coalition of housing advocates that includes the Tenants Union of Washington State, the City of Seattle, public health officials, local landlords, and community housing organizations. (more)
Two families filed a consumer-rights class action lawsuit this week alleging that the owner of their manufactured home park is imposing illegal and fraudulent utilty charges to park residents. The families allege that the owner, Radar Vista LLC, is charging for water and sewer, even though it pays nothing for these services.