Helen Chen has spent the last two decades working on occupational health and workers’ rights issues from an environmental justice perspective. Helen partners with the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative partners to provide action-oriented training to nail salon workers. She also develops impactful worker and employer educational materials to be used by state agencies to raise awareness about workers’ rights and employer responsibilities and to complement state enforcement efforts. She also supports the School Action for Safety and Health (SASH) program in assisting school districts across the state to develop effective injury and illness programs. She also leads a project to evaluate the California SASH program and adapt the SASH model for national use. She developed new health and safety training materials for the janitorial industry, and wrote curriculum for state-accredited training providers on conducting lead hazard evaluations.
As a staff attorney at the Asian Law Caucus, Helen launched an innovative outreach and education campaign to mobilize Vietnamese nail salon workers and owners to adopt best practices in preventing workplace hazards. She also represented low-wage immigrant workers in workers’ compensation, occupational health and safety and discrimination cases. Helen has also worked at Asian Immigrant Women Advocates and Chinese Progressive Association. Helen received a B.S. in Earth Systems from Stanford, M.S. at the Energy and Resources Group from UC Berkeley, and J.D. from Stanford Law School. Helen currently serves on the Board of Human Impact Partners, and served on the Board of the Asian Pacific Environmental Network from 2002 to 2008.
School Action for Safety & Health (SASH)
Nail Salon Workers