Special Assistant to the Labor Commissioner
Yungsuhn Park was appointed to the California Labor Commissioner’s Office in 2013. As Special Assistant to the Labor Commissioner, Yungsuhn has focused on implementing now-Labor Secretary Julie Su’s strategic enforcement initiative to fight wage theft in partnership with community-based organizations. Yungsuhn collaborates with the Labor Commissioner’s Office’s investigators and community worker advocates to identify and investigate strategic cases, which have resulted in over $40 million in citations on behalf of low-wage workers. Yungsuhn also provides guidance on strategic communications, technology projects, staff training, and adoption of new policies and procedures within the Labor Commissioner’s Office. She is also passionate about supporting public education and outreach efforts to further the Labor Commissioner’s mission “to ensure a just day’s pay in every workplace and to promote economic justice through robust enforcement of labor laws.”
Yungsuhn attended USC and UC Berkeley School of Law. After graduating from law school in 2005, Yungsuhn was a Skadden Fellow and Senior Staff Attorney at Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles, where she represented plaintiffs in high-impact civil rights and workers’ rights litigation for eight years. Yungsuhn also co-taught the Employment Rights Clinic at Loyola Law School prior to joining the Labor Commissioner’s Office.
Yungsuhn was born in Los Angeles shortly after her family immigrated to the U.S. and grew up in Echo Park. Yungsuhn was inspired to commit her life and work to social justice advocacy after witnessing the Los Angeles riots in 1992. Yungsuhn lives in Los Angeles with her husband David Yang and their two children.
Executive Director, MCTF
Lilia Garcia-Brower was born and raised in Los Angeles. She is the proud mami of Maya and the Executive Director of the Maintenance Cooperation Trust Fund (MCTF). For the past 19 years she has worked diligently with a powerful team to expose rampant and systemic labor exploitation throughout California. She has been instrumental in strengthening enforcement mechanisms for low wage and immigrant workers in California. Under her leadership, MCTF has grown to be one of the most effective watchdog organizations. The MCTF investigates cleaning companies for employment law violations and works with government agencies and private bar lawyers to hold unscrupulous employers accountable. The MCTF has facilitated the winning of more than 80 million in back wages and has brought in more than 8000 jobs from the predatory underground economy into the formal economy. The MCTF has also built productive relationships with District Attorneys throughout the State referring more than 40 illegal operators for criminal prosecution. The MCTF is nationally recognized for its cutting edge work in public-community enforcement partnership. Lilia spearheaded an effort in 2001 to form a statewide coalition of worker advocates who represent mainly immigrant workers who suffer wage theft. This coalition has evolved and continues today with membership of an estimated 60 organizations throughout California. In 2007 Lilia was appointed to the Fraud Assessment Commission in the California Department of Insurance. She was reappointed by 2 governors and continues on the Commission with 12 years of service. The objective of the commission is to augment the fight to end worker’s compensation fraud in California. In 2015 Lilia broadened the scope of exploitation the MCTF works to eliminate due to the courage of Georgina Hernandez, a nonunion janitor who spoke out publicly about being raped at work. Lilia recognized that the MCTF needed to develop a whole new skill set so she sought out a partnership with the East Los Angeles Women’s Center to provide skill based empowerment training to MCTF investigators and female janitors as to how to defend themselves against harassment, assault and misogynistic cultures. Most recently in 2017, Lilia collaborated with current and former janitors; many survivors of sexual violence to form the ! Ya Basta! self-defense group. In 2018, the group trained 160 women. In 2019, the MCTF will establish !Ya Basta! chapters in 5 other cities in the State with the goal of eventually reaching 1000 women every year.
Employment Rights Project
Bet Tzedek’s Employment Rights Project advocates on behalf of a variety of low-wage workers, including day laborers, domestic workers, and those working in the garment, construction, car wash, restaurant and janitorial industries. The Project represents low-wage workers, regardless of their immigration status, who have been illegally denied wages that they have earned. Client services range from brief advice, counseling and informal advocacy, to representation in hearings before the California Labor Commissioner and litigation in state and federal courts. Spanish-speaking attorneys and volunteers staff the project.