APALC v. Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services:

1999

APALC v. Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services: After years of advocacy, APALC leads the filing of a federal civil rights complaint against the Los Angeles County welfare department for failure to provide adequate language assistance as required under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The complaint is filed on behalf of limited English proficient welfare applicants and recipients, including Spanish-speakers and those speaking Asian and other languages, who together comprise 40% of the county’s caseload. In 2003, the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services signs a landmark agreement with the county that includes the establishment of a centralized civil rights office; toll-free hotlines in threshold languages; a Community Advisory Board; and improvements in the welfare-to-work program to provide limited English speakers with meaningful access to employment and training programs. The settlement also includes restoration of $1.7 million in benefits illegally denied to non-English/non Spanish speaking welfare recipients.

Area of Work: 
Policy and Research