Our History and Mission
The Farmworker and Landscaper Advocacy Project (FLAP) – Ayuda para Trabajadores del Campo y Jardineros – was incorporated February 8, 1999 in response to a 1996 Congressional ruling that prohibited federally funded legal services programs from filing class actions for, and representing many of low-income workers. This prohibition includes H-2A agricultural workers, H-2B forestry workers, and victims of battery, extreme cruelty, sexual assault, or human trafficking. Justice and legal representation, that for decades inspired millions of oppressed people to come to America, were denied to hundreds of thousands of low-income workers, most of them Latinos. While FLAP serves all classifications of workers, it focuses on very low-income laborers and their households.
“The Farmworker and Landscaper Advocacy Project-Proyecto de Ayuda para Trabajadores del Campo y Jardineros-FLAP’s mission is to improve working conditions and opportunities for low-income workers and their households in the cannery, farming, greenhouse, landscaping, meat, nursery, packinghouse, poultry, restaurants, and snow plowing industries.
The organization carries out its mission through advocacy, community outreach and education, litigation, community legal education, information and referrals, partnering with other organizations to fight human labor trafficking, preventing family separations by helping immigrants secure dual citizenship for their children and facilitating access to cash transfers to very low-income populations. FLAP provides these services free of charge and without regard to immigration status.”
Who We Are
The Farmworker and Landscaper Advocacy Project – FLAP – Proyecto de Ayuda para Trabajadores del Campo y Jardineros – is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. FLAP covers the State of Illinois.
The fight against wage theft and human labor trafficking goes on! Thanks to your support, FLAP continues the tireless effort to improve the working conditions for thousands of low-income workers in Illinois. FLAP celebrates the diversity of Illinois and has a more than 24-year reputation for hiring from within the diverse Latine communities we serve. This makes the organization more effective and responsive to our communities’ needs. We provide jobs that offer competitive pay including generous and comprehensive benefits, and career advancement opportunities. With your support FLAP has achieved the following:
- Educated more than 1.5 million low-income Latinx workers on their legal rights –
- Partnered with more than 400 organizations, including Consulates, law firms, churches, foundations and other non-profit organizations, to improve working conditions in Illinois
- FLAP has endorsed and sent more than 295 petitions and letters advocating for low-income workers
- Distributed almost 4 million of community outreach and education material with resources and legal information available to low-income workers regardless of their immigration status
- Delivered more than 115,000 “Know Your Rights” presentations
- Filed 242 lawsuits in federal and state courts – 90% representing multiple workers
- Sent 89 demand letters in the name of very low-income workers and their households in the: cannery, farming, greenhouse, landscaping, meat, nursery, packinghouse, poultry, restaurants and snow plowing industries
- Recovered almost 5.0 million dollars in back wages and damages for the workers
- During the COVID-19, FLAP has secured $2,483,035 in financial assistance to very low-income Latinx individuals benefiting approximately 26,000 family members.
- Almost 3 million pieces of Personnel Protective Equipment has been distributed. Of those more than 1 million went directly to Illinois’ Farmworkers and more than 25,000 to immigrant children
- The organization secured $171,873 worth of technology and educational supplies so Latinx immigrant children could participate effectively in distance learning.
FLAP covers the State of Illinois.
We have recovered almost 5 million dollars in back wages and illegal deductions. Please contact us for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Community Outreach and Education
FLAP staff and Community Navigators-Independent Contractors seek to educate low-income workers about their rights in the work place. Our organization builds upon relationships with churches, consulates and organizations in the community to deliver “Know your Rights” presentations to groups of low-income workers. FLAP staff and Community Navigators-Independent Contractors travel to different populations in Illinois to inform low-income workers about their rights and legal resources available to them. Through its own community outreach and education work and through its relationship with other community groups in the area, FLAP builds a relationship of trust with low-income immigrant, migrant, and seasonal low-income workers.
Information and Referrals
FLAP relies on more than 400 network of organizations and qualified attorneys to handle legal cases in Illinois. This network of attorneys and organizations allows us to provide low-income workers who have suffered damages without receiving any compensation with reliable legal assistance.
FLAP gives information to low-income workers and makes referrals to other organizations and skilled litigation attorneys with extensive experience in areas including but not limited to: employment, personal injury, consumer, nursing home abuse and neglect, medical malpractice, education, housing, wrongful death, birth injury, product liability, car, trucking, bus and aviation accidents, premises liability, Federal Torts Claims Act, Assisted Living Negligence, home health care abuse and neglect, DUI, Social Security Disability, family law, Immigration, Breach of Contracts, medical Mal practice and workers compensation among others.
Human Labor Trafficking
By definition, human labor trafficking is “the act of recruiting, harboring, moving or obtaining a person by force, fraud or coercion, for the purposes of involuntary servitude, debt bondage or sexual exploitation.” FLAP clients often receive legitimate visas from recruiters who subsequently take these visas away. These recruiters frequently restrict the workers’ movements, house them in cramped quarters, force them to work without pay, and threaten their life and the lives of their families to prevent their escape.
FLAP is an Ideal Choice for Cy Pres
If you are involved in a class action case settlement and are designating a cy pres for the residual funds, please consider FLAP as a cy pres recipient. FLAP will use the award to provide Community Outreach and Education improving low-income working conditions in Illinois having a significant effect on the lives of low-income Illinois residents.
While it is ultimately up to the courts to determine whether a cy pres award is appropriate, attorneys for the plaintiff and defense can each play an important role in directing cy pres awards to FLAP.
Mission: to improve working conditions and opportunities for low-income workers and their households in the cannery, farms, greenhouse, landscaping, meat, nursery, packinghouse, poultry, restaurants, and snow plowing industries.
The organization carries out its mission through advocacy, community outreach and education, litigation, community legal education, information and referrals, partnering with other organizations to fight human labor trafficking, preventing family separations by helping immigrants secure dual citizenship for their children and facilitating access to cash transfers to very low-income populations.
FLAP provides these services free of charge and without regard to immigration status.
- Collaboration: FLAP partners with more than 200 organizations in Illinois and works closely with the legal aid community to provide Legal resources to low income workers.
- Expertise: FLAP has been improving working conditions of low-income workers in Illinois for more than 22 years.
- Area of Service: FLAP is eligible to receive cy pres awards because we promote equal access to justice for disadvantaged low-income Illinois residents.
- Population FLAP services: Our clients share something in common with the members of class action lawsuits. They are Latinx low-income workers.
Among the many violations that low-income workers are exposed to are:
- Human Labor Trafficking
- Nonpayment of wages (“wage theft”)
- Denial of overtime wage rates
- Illegal pesticide exposure
- Hazardous housing
- Unsanitary working conditions
- Illegal deductions from wages [for visa, travel, housing, equipment and uniform expenses]
- Injuries at work
- Affected by COVID-19
The term cy pres comes from the French, “cy pres comme possible,” meaning “as near as possible,” and the doctrine is often applied in class action cases in which full restitution to all injured parties is impossible or infeasible, resulting in residual funds.
Under cy pres, courts can approve a charitable donation out of unclaimed class action funds. Designation of a cy pres prevents a windfall to the defendant while serving to deter future violations. Court settlement awards occur when the court approves a settlement that requires one of the parties to make a specified contribution to a charity.
Cy pres awards have been used to fund important legal services all over the country. In addition to special projects, cy pres awards are often used to fund operational costs for legal aid organizations and nonprofits like FLAP, allowing them to continue to provide vital services in their communities.
For further information, please contact the Executive Director, Alexandra Sossa, at email@example.com or 1-888-451-3527.