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Colin Laffey
Colin Laffey

2019 Up & Coming Attorneys: Colin Laffey

Wage theft has been in the news lately, what with the recent passage of a sweeping law addressing the fiscal mistreatment of low-wage employees.

Colin Laffey is ready for whatever is next in that arena. After several years with Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid, Laffey joined Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services as part of its new Agricultural Worker Program. There, he represents Minnesotans as well as migrant and non-immigrant H-2A agricultural workers in employment-related matters.

That often means not just wage theft, but also unsafe working conditions, discrimination and retaliation. It has also meant building partnerships with plaintiff-side employment counsel, local governments and other nonprofit stakeholders.

“Being able to provide clients with the legal awareness of their legal rights, and then ideally seeing those cases through to an appropriate settlement or adjudication so they recover the wages, damages and penalties that they are entitled to — that is always a great feeling,” said Laffey.

In practice since 2015, Laffey was not always certain that he would become an attorney. After earning his undergraduate degree, he did a lot of volunteer work.

“I envisioned something between law and education, and I ended up with law,” he said. Laffey will continue fighting the good fight on behalf of clients who are too often marginalized, cheated or forgotten.

“It’s great knowing that the work we’re doing has real tangible impact on people’s lives,” he said.

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