Christina Chung is the founding Executive Director of the Center for Law and Work (CLAW). Before joining CLAW, Christina spent over 20 years in public service and at non-profits advancing the rights of low-wage workers. A gubernatorial appointee under Governors Brown and Newsom, she worked for a decade within the state labor agency on issues of economic equity for low-income communities. As Special Counsel to the California Labor Commissioner, she was the Commissioner’s chief advisor on the most significant legal and policy issues affecting workers in the state, and more recently, as Senior Advisor of Law and Policy for the California Labor Secretary, she directed and developed labor policy for the largest state labor agency in the nation. Her many accomplishments in the public sector included creating California’s SEED program, which has granted $30 million in state funds to support undocumented and limited English proficient communities in building worker cooperatives and socially responsible small businesses. An expert on the intersection between worker rights and immigrant rights, she developed model laws and policies for immigrant workers, including the first state labor agency protocols in the nation to address unlawful attempts by ICE agents to detain workers at labor agency offices. Christina also drafted a wide array of policies to promote the rights of workers, including to address misclassification of workers as independent contractors, provide essential workers with paid sick leave during the COVID-19 pandemic, enhance labor law enforcement tools, and codify other key worker protections.
Previously, Christina worked for over a decade litigating impact suits on behalf of low-wage workers, at two of the leading public interest organizations in the country, Asian Americans Advancing Justice in Los Angeles and Legal Aid at Work in San Francisco. Her efforts culminated in millions of dollars in settlements and judgments for workers. Some of her high-profile cases included representing Latinx workers seeking to hold a major clothing retailer responsible for sweatshop abuses at over 20 garment factories utilized by the retailer, which resulted in a Ninth Circuit victory and was highlighted in an Emmy-award winning documentary film; litigating a wage and hour suit on behalf of a Latinx domestic worker whose case helped spur the passage of the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights in California; and representing limited English proficient Latinx and Southeast Asian manufacturing workers alleging national origin discrimination under federal law. In addition, Christina served as a law clerk for the Honorable Donna M. Ryu, in the United States District Court, Northern District of California. For her legal accomplishments, leadership, and commitment to public service, she has been honored by community-based organizations and was previously named one of the “Best Lawyers Under 40” in the country by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association.
B.A., Stanford University (1992)
J.D., University of Michigan Law School (1996)