Asian Americans Advancing Justice - LA

Building upon the legacy of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center

Race and National Origin Discrimination

Advancing Justice - LA has also represented Asian Americans in employment discrimination cases in both individual cases and class actions where Asian Americans and other minority groups have been denied equal employment opportunities because of their race or national origin. 

In 2003, Advancing Justice - LA partnered with other civil rights advocates in litigating Gonzalez v. Abercrombie & Fitch Co., a nationwide race discrimination class action brought on behalf of Asian American, African American and Latino applicants and employees for employment discrimination in company  stores.  A number of plaintiffs were fired from their jobs after an executive from corporate headquarters visited a store, pointed to a white model on a store poster, said “You need more employees who look like this.”  The parties reached a settlement in 2004, which required the company to establish hiring and promotion guidelines and provide diversity training for all employees.  

In recent years, Advancing Justice - LA has responded to discrimination complaints by workers in California’s Central Valley in Her v. Club One Casino  and related cases.  Advancing Justice - LA currently represents a multiracial group of Hmong, Cambodian, and older workers against Club One Casino in a national origin lawsuit and age discrimination class actions.  Among others things, casino management excluded  plaintiffs from working at high profile poker tournaments and reduced their shifts after referring to them as “you people” and claiming that they could not speak English properly.

In Abdon v. Delano Regional Medical Center Advancing Justice - LA represented over 40 Filipino American hospital employees against Delano Regional Medical Center for national origin discrimination.  The employees had been prohibited from speaking Tagalog and other Filipino languages under a broad-reaching English-only policy that was selectively applied to them in a discriminatory manner.  Advancing Justice - LA  has a long history of challenging such discriminatory English-only policies.  In 1991 Advancing Justice - LA  brought a case on behalf of a Filipina American nurse who was subjected to a similar discriminatory “No Tagalog” policy by Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center.   

Advancing Justice - LA also is litigating a Freedom of Information (“FOIA”) case on behalf of a Muslim American man, Naji Hamdan, who was harassed for many years by the FBI on account of his race and religion.  In 2008, shortly after the FBI followed Mr. Hamdan to the U.A.E. and questioned him there, he was detained by the UAE government in a “black site” where he was subjected to severe torture.  During one of the torture sessions, Mr. Hamdan was questioned under blindfold by an interrogator with an American accent.  Mr. Hamdan’s experience is consistent with the U.S. practice of using foreign governments as “proxies” to detain terrorism suspects outside the rule of law.  Advancing Justice - LA’s FOIA suit seeks to reveal U.S. involvement in Mr. Hamdan’s traumatic ordeal.

For Legal Help

Advancing Justice - LA’s hotlines prioritize assistance to low-income persons in the following areas of law: family, immigration, consumer, public benefits, employment, housing, and civil rights.

English: 888.349.9695
需要協助嗎: 800.520.2356


도움이 필요하십니까?: 800.867.3640
Tagalog: 855.300.2552
ต้องการความช่วยเหลือ: 800.914.9583
Cần sự giúp đỡ: 800.267.7395


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Our mission is to advocate for civil rights, provide legal services and education, and build coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders and to create a more equitable and harmonious society.