Trials & Litigation
240 LA Court Interpreters Walk Out
Posted Sep 5, 2007 4:26 PM CDT
By Martha Neil
Today was not a good day to be in Los Angeles County Superior Court with a case requiring an interpreter.
Angry about skimpy pay increases since they became employees instead of independent contractors in 2005, some 240 court interpreters there went on strike today and did not show up for work. The situation disrupted cases throughout the county, according to the Los Angeles Times.
An unspecified number of court interpreters reportedly staged sympathy strikes in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, too.
"Our services are absolutely indispensable," says Karen Stevens, a Spanish-language interpreter with a decade of experience in the Los Angeles courts. "I feel that our work should be recognized."
Allan Parachini, a spokesman for the L.A. court system, says interpreters—who earn more than $73,000 annally—were given a 4 percent raise last month.