Our Mission

Strong Advocates is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that helps workers to know and exercise their rights when they have been unlawfully terminated based on their employer’s discriminatory motives. By employing a community lawyering approach, we meet with workers in their own communities. We offer free community outreaches and know-your-rights trainings and education to community groups, targeting low-income and immigrant workers. We aim to cultivate community partnerships with other non-profit organizations to ensure workers get the help they need. We provide individuals with a free written legal case analysis to assist them in deciding how best to protect and advocate for their rights. We help victims of workplace discrimination by compiling resources including a legal team to protect their employment rights and workers compensation, if applicable. We assist workers in negotiating contracts and agreements with legal providers. We then may assist those legal providers with attorney services to help keep the overall costs down for our clients. We also provide assistance to workers by highlighting the injustices done to them through social media and other media outlets. Together, we help ensure that workers are heard, seen, and respected.

Betsy Havens Executive Director

Betsy Havens has dedicated her career to social justice. She has many years of experience helping individuals who have been discriminated against to win their cases and restore their rights. As an attorney in Florida and California, she has helped to lead numerous complex, systemic lawsuits in federal court to resolve legal violations affecting thousands. In recognition of her impact litigation, Betsy’s organization received an advocacy award from a State Bar Foundation. Betsy has appeared in cases before the Central District Court of California, the Southern District Court of Florida, and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Betsy also has led over 50 trainings for community groups and attorneys. Before working at Strong Advocates, Betsy worked as an attorney at Disability Rights California helping victims of discrimination access needed services through federal litigation and individual representation. Betsy graduated from the University of Miami School of Law, obtained her Master’s degree in public health from the University of North Carolina, and her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan. After graduating from law school, Betsy received the prestigious Equal Justice Rights fellowship to fight discrimination in Miami and launch her legal career pursuing justice for those treated unfairly.

Scott McVarish Director

Scott McVarish is the award-winning, founding attorney at the Litigation and Negotiation Employment Law Office and the Immigration Law Office of Los Angeles, P.C. McVarish has achieved success with employment cases for his clients, achieving numerous successful settlements within the first four months of taking the case. Mr. McVarish has also excelled in representing his clients in immigration cases at all levels including petitions at USCIS, Consular processing, BIA Appeals, Immigration Court Motions Federal District Court and the Ninth Circuit Court Appeals, Asylum, prosecutorial discretion cases, appeals, motions to reopen and Post-conviction Relief. Scott graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in International Communications and then earned a joint- J.D., and M.A. from the UCLA School of Law and School of Public Policy respectively.

Rabbi Jonathan Klein Director

Rabbi Jonathan Klein is the Executive Director at CLUE-LA, a Los Angeles non-profit organization which brings together clergy and lay leaders of all faiths to partner with activist community organizations and unions to increase workers’ capacity to influence their working conditions and public policies. Rabbi Klein was ordained in 1997 from Hebrew Union College. Jonathan served congregations in Flagstaff, Arizona and Rye, New York. Up. He served three years as Director of KESHER, the Reform Movement’s College Department and eight years as the Allen and Ruth Ziegler Rabbinic Director of USC Hillel, in Los Angeles. An ardent environmentalist, he sits on the board of the Coalition on the Environment in Jewish Life (COEJL-SC), is a member of the Environmental Commission of Speaker of the Assembly Karen Bass’ district, and serves on the Environmental Initiatives Committee of the Tel Aviv/Los Angeles Partnership.

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