I am a strong advocate of access to legal aid for low income folks- clearly we have a need for that. I volunteer for and have served on the board of directors of various organizations. The law can be used as both a weapon and a shield and in the wrong hands, with poor discretion or judgment, can do a lot of damage, intended or not. I have observed this organization take on a case of a former employee of one of the non-profits for which I serve and it has cost the non-profit thousands of dollars in unnecessary cost, not to mention the cost of the government resources consumed in the process. This organization, the Unemployment Law Project in Seattle, took up that case without any attempts to contact our non-profit to vet the claimant and actually seek out the facts. This former employee of our non-profit decided that they should have supreme authority over the entire non-profit organization without any regard for our bylaws, hire anyone they chose to including immediate family members (without regard for the issue of conflicts of interest or personal inurement of non-profit assets/resources), disregard directives from the board of directors, and for his last year and a half, he and his family initiated a campaign lies and gross misrepresentations to poison all of the staff, volunteers, donors, and community leaders against the board of directors, and when this was all brought out into the daylight for discussion, he refused to engage in any form of remediation of the behavior (yes, shockingly, the board was willing to still extend an olive branch and seek to recover this wayward soul). Upon giving the board an ultimatum that it was his way or the highway and refusing to meet with the board of directors for any discussion of the events that had transpired, he voluntarily resigned and applied for unemployment. It appears that for the Unemployment Law Project that there is some default 'presumption of innocence' of every unemployed body that shows up at there door and without opening any dialogue with the employer, they proceed to aid the former employee to 'nuke' the former employer. This is certainly what has happened in our observation. It's certainly an inexpensive way for an employee to wreak havoc on the former employee and apparently this organization is fine being the pawn in their game. Please don't contribute to this organization unless you want it to cost others dearly. Absent any assurances in this organization's ability to alter their procedures and create a better process to vet the cases they take on and not take on every case that falls on their doorstep, worthy or not, I would encourage you to NOT donate to this organization. You will only be taking precious resources away from other local charities that may fall victim to the weaponization of the law by the Unemployment Law Project.
Review from Guidestar