Beginning Of The Sugar Law Center
Co-Founder of the National Lawyers Guild in 1937, Maurice Sugar and his wife Jane, kept their legacy alive with their donation to bring birth to the Sugar Law Center in 1991.
Maurice Sugar (1891-1974) was a prominent civil rights attorney during the era of segregation. Sugar believed that the people, not their employers, are worth fighting for. Maurice Sugar was born and raised by Jewish immigrants in Brimley, Michigan. Brimley, at the time, was a melting pot of many types of immigrants. Through his work, Sugar fought numerous cases such as being the union lawyer for General Motors Flint employees in 1936. Through Maurice Sugar’s starting donation in 1991, we have continued Sugar’s legacy by representing those who suffered injustice in the workplace and social injustice.
Notable Work From Sugar Law Center
Plants Closing Project
We have been at the lead of taking legal action towards the WARN act since 1992. The WARN act ensures a 60 day notice to employees in advance to any plant closing or massive layoffs.
Pictured above is Willow Run Assembly, one location where we enforced the WARN Act. General Motors, who closed the plant without giving employees a proper 60 day notice, violated the WARN Act. Beginning in 1992, we fought for 15 years, until the court ruled in our favor. Since then, we have fought over thousands of cases relating to the WARN act over the entire country!
Environmental Justice Project
We have fought for the public’s health through enforcing environmental regulations and fighting those who break them!
Pictured above is Beard Elementary School. Beard Elementary School was built on a toxic waste site, and we were able to fight for the children’s protection. NAACP v. Engler was another successful environmental case that we fought in. This case featured communities in Flint that were exposed to harmful amounts of pollution from surrounding companies.
We have fought against a numerous of other cases. A large case that we fought involved wage theft to vocational students. For-profit vocational programs were failing to pay and teach their students. Other work involving workers rights includes women in the workplace and the work with Restaurant Opportunity Center (ROC), promoting the standards in the service food industry. We were also involved in the challenge of the Michigan Emergency Manager Law (PA 436).
Want To Learn More About Us?
In the following audio, Kary Moss, Executive Director between 1993-1998, explains her work that she completed throughout her tenure and the significance of this work on the community. Kary Moss discussed her role in the Environmental Justice Project and their fight against lead poisoning that was being leaked by a Flint power and coal company. Kary talks of important members that helped with our work during her tenure.