Veronica Chavez is the directing attorney of Centro Legal’s workers’ rights program. For about seven years, Veronica has devoted her time to exclusively representing low-wage workers in wage-and-hour, discrimination (primarily involving race, national origin, age, disability, and sex), retaliation, sexual harassment, and misclassification cases. In doing so, she has successfully litigated numerous cases in state court, before the California Labor Commissioner, and before the California Civil Rights Department.
Veronica also trains and supervises attorneys, paralegals, and support staff in their representation of low-wage workers. She and her team conduct trainings for law students and community advocates on various employment law matters. Among Veronica’s positive outcomes are successfully opposing motions to dismiss workers’ cases and compel arbitration; a $175,000 settlement for an immigrant worker facing sexual harassment; an $800,000 settlement for a handful of workers who suffered wage-and-hour violations; a $100,000 settlement for an immigrant worker facing discrimination; an $84,000 settlement for a worker facing sexual harassment; a $300,000 settlement for a handful of workers whose employer appealed their Labor Commissioner decisions and filed for bankruptcy in the middle of litigation; and a $240,000 settlement for four workers for wage-and-hour violations. Veronica has also litigated and led class action settlements that have led to multi-million-dollar settlements for thousands of workers.
While in law school, Veronica volunteered at Tenants Together and served as a law clerk at the East Bay Community Law Center doing civil eviction defense proceedings. As a certified law student with the UC Hastings Civil Justice Clinic, Veronica represented one of her clients at his superior court trial. Veronica later joined the Legal Aid Society – Employment Law Center’s Wage Protection Program where she assisted low-wage workers through the Wage Claim Clinic and Workers’ Rights Clinic. Veronica has some immigration experience from her work as paralegal for Berry, Appleman & Leiden LLP and as a volunteer translator for the Lawyers’ Committee Pro Bono Asylum Program.
Veronica obtained her J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and earned her B.A. in Legal Studies and Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley. She is passionate about social justice, committed to empowering low-income, marginalized communities, and has a special interest in animal rights.