Court interpreters charge in lawsuit they are systematically underpaid, leading to judicial dysfunction


A group of language interpreters working for New York’s court system say they are being systematically underpaid despite the high skill level required of their job, leading to considerable dysfunction in the disposition of justice for the millions of New Yorkers with limited English proficiency.

The claims were made in a lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court Wednesday by 29 court interpreters, working in all five boroughs and three other counties in the state, translating court proceedings in Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Polish, and American Sign Language. The interpreters are also joined in the suit — which names the Office of Court Administration, the agency overseeing the state’s judiciary, as a defendant — by the advocacy group New York Communities for Change.