Here are the latest news items of interest to the legal aid community and it's clients. Click the article headline for the full story.

For more news, see the latest from our companion sites at the links below:


The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) is partnering with the United States Department of Labor (USDOL) to bring employers a solution to help businesses efficiently and accurately respond to unemployment compensation (UC) information requests and to speed the processing of claims.

The State Information Data Exchange System (SIDES) and SIDES E-Response offer employers – free of charge – a secure, electronic and nationally-standardized format to better anticipate and supply the data needed to respond to UC information requests, reduce follow-up phone calls and streamline UC response processes.


Visit www.SocialSecurity.govSocial Security has published new instructions that allow the agency to process more claims in which entitlement or eligibility is affected by a same-sex relationship. These instructions come in response to last year’s Supreme Court decision in U.S. vs. Windsor, which found Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. 

This latest policy development lets the agency recognize some non-marital legal relationships as marriages for determining entitlement to benefits. These instructions also allow Social Security to begin processing many claims in states that do not recognize same-sex marriages or non-marital legal relationships. 


U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez has announced a proposed rule extending the protections of the Family and Medical Leave Act to all eligible employees in legal same-sex marriages regardless of where they live. The proposal would help ensure that all families will have the flexibility to deal with serious medical and family situations without fearing the threat of job loss. Secretary Perez is proposing this rule in light of the Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Windsor, in which the court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act provision that interpreted "marriage" and "spouse" to be limited to opposite-sex marriage for the purposes of federal law.

The FMLA, enacted in 1993, entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons. Employees are, for example, entitled to take FMLA leave to care for a spouse who has a serious health condition. Millions of workers and their families have benefited since the FMLA's provisions became effective and even more American families would be made secure as a result of the proposed rule.


The Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime, in collaboration with the Access to Justice Initiative and the Elder Justice Initiative, has released the first three modules of a free self-paced Online Elder Abuse Training for legal service providers.

This interactive Web-based training program offers a variety of information, tools and resources, from interactive client scenarios to printable resources for your office.


Friends of Farmworkers/Amigos de los Trabajadores AgricolasFriends of Farmworkers was awarded a $100,000 Project Grant by Impact100 Philadelphia at the conclusion of their sixth annual meeting on June 3. The organization awared a total of $328,000 in project and operating grants at that time.

Friends of Farmworkers (FOF) works to improve the living and working conditions of Pennsylvania’s vulnerable low-wage agricultural, landscaping and food processing workers and their families through the provision of legal services, education and advocacy. 

With Impact100 funding, FOF will launch Voces de Trabajadoras/Voices of Women at Work (Voces) to address the needs of a growing number of women working in the Philadelphia agricultural sector, most of whom are Latina immigrants, who suffer disproportionately from wage theft, discrimination, sexual harassment and assault in the workplace and are unlikely to take action.