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Legal Director of the National Guestworker Alliance Speaks on Forced Labor in the New Economy
March 26, 2013
On Tuesday, March 26, 2013, at Harvard Law School, the IGLP hosted Jennifer (J.J.) Rosenbaum (HLS JD 2002), who spoke on Forced Labor in the New Economy: Legal Strategies for Workers in the Walmart, Hershey’s Chocolates and McDonald’s Cases.
Ms. Rosenbaum is the Founding Legal and Policy Director of the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice (NOWCR) and the National Guestworker Alliance (NGA), both based in New Orleans. These organizations have devised a whole range of new legal and organizing strategies to protect and strengthen low-wage and migrant workers faced with the stringencies of the new economy.
In her talk, Rosenbaum reflected on three of her biggest recent cases against Walmart, Hershey’s Chocolates, and McDonald’s. She screened a video about student guestworkers who, with the NGA, demanded living wages and ended forced labor at the Hershey’s Chocolates plant in Pennsylvania. Additionally, she discussed her career path with current law students interested in seeking justice and empowerment for vulnerable constituencies. IGLP Advisory Council member Janet Halley convened the discussion.
Ms. Rosenbaum directs strategic support for organizing, including strategic legal support of organizing, impact litigation, member defense, and administrative advocacy for the National Guestworker Alliance and the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice. Her work focuses on the intersection of workers’ rights, civil rights, immigration, and constitutional law. She has worked with grassroots labor and community leaders to expose rampant labor trafficking and involuntary servitude within the guestworker program, to defend against retaliation, criminalization, and immigration enforcement actions on day labor corners, and to stand against corruption and discriminatory policies that block access to housing, fairness and safety in evacuations, and the right to return. Ms. Rosenbaum is also adjunct lecturer in immigration law at Tulane Law School.