Legal Aid’s advice helps secure lost paycheck

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Legal Aid's Jefferson Office in Ashtabula County

David Jackson* lives across the street from Legal Aid’s Jefferson office in Ashtabula County, but never knew precisely what Legal Aid did. Facing some trouble with his employer, Mr. Jackson took a chance and walked across the street looking for a solution to his problem.

Mr. Jackson had gone through two weeks of training to drive a van for a transportation company. Mr. Jackson was told that he would be paid for the training sessions, but he never heard from them about beginning his new job, and never received the money owed to him. Confused as to whether or not he had even been hired or still employed with the company, he walked into Legal Aid to ask about his employment rights.

Julie Cortes, a Legal Aid staff attorney, helped the Ashtabula County resident. After a brief interview with Mr. Jackson, Ms. Cortes sent a Legal Aid flyer entitled “Can’t Get Your Last Paycheck?” This brochure – and others like it – is a key element of Legal Aid’s community legal education effort – Legal Aid publishes 70 brochures and flyers on various areas of civil law. These materials are available online, in neighborhood centers and in libraries to help educate the community. Legal Aid attorneys and volunteers also share the materials when handling brief advice cases.

For Mr. Jackson, this brochure outlined the steps that an individual may take in order to bring the matter of unpaid wages to the attention of an employer. Ms. Cortes also forwarded Mr. Jackson a simple advice letter and a sample pro se demand letter to be sent to his employer.

Upon receiving Mr. Jackson’s demand letter, the employer sent his paycheck. Legal Aid works to empower clients with the tools and legal advice they need to succeed. Ms. Cortes states, “I really enjoyed working on this case because the client learned the procedure by which to resolve his matter and did it on his own.”

* client name changed to protect privacy

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