Frank Dolce Fellowship

The Frank Dolce Activist Fellowship is a position at WNYCOSH committed to defending and advancing the rights of working people

Frank Dolce worked his entire life as an activist, professor, and attorney championing the value of hard work and the dignity of labor. While enrolled at SUNY Buffalo Law School he was a founding member of WNYCOSH, an organization created during the national occupational safety and health movement of the 1970’s. He helped draft and enact one of the country’s first “Right to Know” laws, providing workers with the legal right to know about toxic substances they encounter at work. Over the next 35 years Frank Dolce built a career as an advocate for working people both as a trial attorney and community activist.

WNYCOSH continues to be a leader in the field of workers’ rights. Since 1979, WNYCOSH has made the workplace safer for hundreds of thousands of workers across Western New York through organizing and training efforts. In 2011, Frank helped establish the WNYCOSH Worker Center to assist workers, especially low-wage workers — immigrant, refugee, and temp workers — to learn about their rights and organize fellow workers to improve workplace conditions. Worker Center components include Outreach, Services, Education and Advocacy, including assistance with issues of wage theft, discrimination, unsafe working conditions, and other workplace challenges.

The Frank Dolce Fellow will work to organize and advocate for underrepresented workers in a position with the WNYCOSH Worker Center. In particular, the applicant will be expected to organize and assist immigrant and temp workers, provide assistance for wage theft class action law suits, and work to expand the WNYCOSH Worker Center.

Fellowship Overview

This position is an opportunity to continue Frank Dolce’s legacy and build your own within the broader workers’ rights movement in Western New York. The fellow will have the opportunity to work on all aspects of workers’ rights, worker advocacy, and employment law.

The fellowship is 30 hours/week and requires a 10-week commitment. The position is a paid fellowship at $15/hour.

Roles & Responsibilities

The fellow will have the opportunity to gain valuable experience by working alongside the program staff of the Worker Center and WNYCOSH, WNY Law Center, and partner firms. The fellow will gain hands on experience in various aspects of employment law, workers’ rights, worker advocacy, and outreach, including:

  • Conduct legal research on Worker Center cases and cases of the WNY Law Center and partner firms 
  • Work on WNY Law Center employment cases, including meeting with clients, drafting court documents, engaging in settlement discussions, engaging in discovery, and appearing in court under WNY Law Center’s student practice order.
  • Develop popular education pieces on workers’ rights, workers’ compensation, and other pertinent issues
  • Meet and work with workers’ advocates practicing in areas like New York State Labor Law, employment law, Workers Compensation, FELA and railroad litigation, and more
  • Other projects as assigned
Desired Experience & Qualifications

This Frank Dolce Activist Fellowship is open to law students who will have completed their first semester of law school before the fellowship commences.  The fellow should possess the following:

  • Excellent research, writing, and communication skills
  • A strong commitment to worker issues, workers’ rights
  • The initiative to see projects through to completion
How To Apply

Please submit a resume, cover letter, and formal response to the following questionnaire to WNYCOSH Executive Director, Germain Harnden, at Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until filled and will close no later than February 1, 2020.

Frank Dolce Fellowship Questionnaire (Please limit responses to 150 words)

  1. What professional and life experiences will inform your work at the WNYCOSH Worker Center?
  2. What do you see as the role you will fulfill at the WNYCOSH Worker Center?
  3. What do you see as the intersection of law and activism?
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