On June 8, 2020, Phase 1 businesses, including agriculture, construction, manufacturing, retail, and wholesale trade, are permitted to reopen in NYC. The NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) has outlined the relevant sick leave laws for both employers and employees returning to work during this time. The City also offers various resources for those impacted by COVID-19: free COVID-19 testing, a COVID-19 Hotel Program for those who cannot isolate at home, free or low-cost health care, and NYC Well, a confidential 24/7 helpline.
The Department of Health has also released NY Forward Safety Plan Templates for businesses that are re-opening. The templates are available in English, Chinese, Korean, and Bengali.
The Department of Health recommends that employers conduct daily employee health screenings; provide workers with free face coverings; maintain hand hygiene stations; regularly clean shared equipment and frequently touched surfaces; and post signs and markers to show people where to stand.
Hon. John Z. Wang, a proud member of AABANY, has launched his own campaign to run for New York City Civil Court in the First Municipal Court District, which covers Battery Park, Chinatown, FiDi, Greenwich Village, Soho, Tribeca, and Two Bridges. An active contributor to the Judiciary Committee of AABANY, Judge Wang has organized panels on how to become an appointed and elected judge in hopes of encouraging more Asian American and Pacific Islander lawyers to pursue this path. Now, he hopes to make his community proud by becoming the first Asian American Civil Court Judge elected to the First District.
Judge Wang immigrated to the United States at five years old and grew up in a predominantly working-class Italian American neighborhood in Brooklyn. As one of very few Asian Americans in his community, he recognized the dangers of racism and bigotry and the importance of respecting other cultures and races.
The Judge has devoted his entire career to public service. After graduating from Vassar College and Brooklyn Law School, he received a six-month fellowship to work at Legal Services, where he advocated for claimants of unemployment insurance. Subsequently, he served as a court attorney in Brooklyn Family Court and the Bronx and Manhattan Civil Courts, and clerked for Hon. Anthony Cannataro, a New York State Supreme Court Justice and the Administrative Judge of the New York City Civil Court. Last year, Judge Wang was appointed as a Brooklyn Housing Court Judge. In all his years serving in New York’s courts, he has also contributed to policy-making by helping to restructure parts of the Manhattan Civil Court.
Now, Judge Wang hopes to serve as the first Asian American Civil Court Judge elected to the First Judicial District. Judge Wang views the Civil Court as the people’s court–it serves everyday people with real, working-class issues. He is moved by the stories and individuals that these small claims and credit card disputes represent, and hopes to do his part to deliver justice to everyday people.
Judge Wang also maintains a reputation for treating individuals that come before him with dignity, compassion, and fairness. As the only sitting judge in this contested race, Judge Wang understands the weight of making difficult decisions regarding people’s livelihoods.
AABANY’s Judiciary Committee vetted Judge Wang for his appointment to Housing Court in 2017 and found him highly qualified and well-suited for the role. The Committee noted that “[t]he advocates and judges that encounter Mr. Wang in the courthouse uniformly praise his intellect, work ethic and demeanor.” After more than two years on the bench, Committee Co-Chair Will Wang (no relation) observed: “It is somewhat uncommon for a relatively recent judge to have published the number of opinions Judge Wang has published. To me, this demonstrates both Judge Wang’s work ethic and overall writing ability.”
Judge Wang believes he faces a tough but winnable campaign. The COVID-19 pandemic has created serious challenges, including uncertainty in voter turnout and participation, but he hopes that his experience working in Civil Court will inspire individuals to volunteer and vote for him.
The Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) was invited by the Asian American Federation and some of its member agencies – not-for-profit organizations that have substantial Chinese-speaking staff – to help with training their limited-English-proficient staff in their native languages on the prevention of sexual harassment in order to meet the new requirements under the New York State and New York City Human Rights Law.
On behalf of AABANY, Karen Kithan Yau, a co-chair of the Pro Bono and Community Service Committee and Eric Su, a co-chair of the Labor and Employment Law Committee, both of whom are long-time employment lawyers, representing workers and employers respectively, gave three trainings, one in Cantonese Chinese, one in Mandarin Chinese, and one in English. The trainings took place in late September and early October. The training participants included kitchen and housekeeping staff, part-time teachers, museum staff, policy advocates, and an executive director. The discussion was rich, lively, and illuminating.
Every New York State employer is now required to provide sexual harassment training o their employees annually. That means that, as of October 9, 2019, every employer should have provided their first such training. Moreover, the New York State and City laws now protect virtually all employees, including contractors, subcontractors, vendors, consultants or others providing services from sexual harassment in the workplace. Thus the need to provide linguistically and culturally competent instruction is acute. The New York City Human Rights Commission has provided impressive training materials, including online trainings in 11 languages. However, there remain employees who will need training in their native languages. Experienced employment attorneys or skilled trainers of human resources areas who are linguistically and culturally competent will continue to be needed.
Learn more about AABANY’s Pro Bono and Community Service Committee here. Learn more about AABANY’s Labor and Employment Law Committee here. Thanks to Karen and Eric for providing these trainings to organizations serving the Asian American community.
The High School Division of the Sonia & Celina Sotomayor Judicial Internship Program encourages diverse and underrepresented high school students from communities among the five New York City boroughs to explore careers in the law.
In the Summer of 2019, approximately thirty high school students will participate in judicial internships in state and federal courts, educational and professional development workshops, and mentorship opportunities. The students will intern with a state or federal judge located within one of the five New York City boroughs from Monday through Thursday for four weeks. The hours will likely be 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., subject to the individual judge’s discretion. On Fridays, the student interns will meet for educational and professional development workshops at the Thurgood Marshall Courthouse, 40 Foley Square, New York, NY from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Students are expected to honor these time commitments to participate in the program.
Current 11th grade student (Rising 12th grade student in the Summer of 2019)
Reside in and attend school in the Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, or Staten Island
Minimum GPA of 82%
Application Materials: Online Google Form, Transcript, Resume, Essay, and Teacher Recommendation
Available to attend the SCS JIP Orientation in person on Saturday, May 18, 2019
November 30, 2018 – High School Intern Application Opens
March 8, 2019 – High School Intern Application Final Deadline
April 1 – 11, 2019 – High School Intern Interviews
May 18, 2019 – 2019 SCS JIP Program Orientation
July 8, 2019 – August 2, 2019 – High School Program
The Hon. Randall Eng (Ret.), New York state’s first Asian American Presiding Justice, was honored with the OCA-NY Lifetime Achievement Award on Friday, September 28, at OCA-NY’s 42nd Annual Community Service & Leadership Awards Gala. Justice Eng has dedicated himself to public service for over three decades in a variety of positions. He served as the first Asian American Assistant District Attorney in his hometown of Queens County (1973-1980), the Deputy Inspector General of New York City (1980-1981), and also the Inspector General of New York City (1981-1983). In 2016, Judge Eng was awarded NAPABA’s highest honor, the Daniel K. Inouye Trailblazer Award, and in 2017, he received AABANY’s Norman Lau Kee Trailblazer Award. The OCA-NY Lifetime Achievement Award is yet another well-earned recognition of both his contributions to New York State and the Asian American attorney community. Please join AABANY in congratulating Justice Eng on this well-deserved award and honor.
AABANY is excited to tell you about “If They Come for Me In the Morning,” a series of town hall forums regarding today’s state-sponsored xenophobia. Featured speakers include Japanese American incarceration camp survivors, Native American artists and activists, African American historians, Holocaust survivors, and people threatened with deportation. They will discuss how government-led bigotry and violence against families have reverberated throughout history, to guide our collective movement towards a better future.
The series began last week on September 27th, with a forum on the Japanese American Incarceration coming up on October 10th. For more information, click here. Thank you to George Hirose at JACL-NY for sharing this event with AABANY
Please join AABANY in congratulating newly elected Civil Court Judge Judy Kim. See below for a statement from KALAGNY.
KALAGNY Congratulates Judy Kim on Becoming the First Korean American Elected to a Judicial Position in the State of New York
We are pleased to announce that our member Judy Kim has been elected to serve on the New York Civil Court (4th Municipal Court District). Ms. Kim is the first Korean American elected to a judicial position in the State of New York. Currently, Ms. Kim is an associate counsel in the Legal Division at the New York Liquidation Bureau (Liquidation Bureau). The Liquidation Bureau is a quasi-state agency that assists the Superintendent of Financial Services of the State of New York in his capacity as receiver of insolvent insurance companies. Ms. Kim also worked at Snitow Kanfer Holtzer & Millus, LLP as an attorney focusing on commercial litigation, employment discrimination litigation, and matrimonial litigation matters. Before that, Ms. Kim worked at Kennedy Lillis Schmidt & English, a boutique maritime law firm. Ms. Kim received her J.D. from Tulane Law School, and her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.
Ms. Kim holds or has held various other non-profit board positions. Currently, she is a board member of the Korean American League for Civic Action (KALCA), and the Judges and Lawyers Breast Cancer Alert (JALBCA). She has been a board member of or held various leadership roles within a number of other organizations, including the Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York, the Asian American Bar Association of New York, the New York City Bar Association, and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA). Many congratulations.
The Manhattan Family Justice Center is happy to announce our next round of core trainings. Our training program provides professional development for service providers, community leaders, and city agencies on relevant topics regarding intimate partner violence, sex trafficking, and elder abuse.
Please share widely. All trainings are free and located at the MFJC: 80 Centre Street, 5th Floor Training Room.