Jun. 27, 2013
NELP Statement On the U.S. Senate’s Passage of Immigration Reform Legislation
Today, the United States Senate took an historic step towards making the dream of millions of immigrants a reality and aligning U.S. immigration law with our values of upholding justice and rewarding hard work. By a vote of 68 to 32, including 14 Republicans, the Senate passed the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (S.744), moving us closer to the first comprehensive reform of our nation’s immigration laws in decades.
The bill gives 11 million immigrants a chance at citizenship, even though that road is a long and hard one. It offers protection for whistleblowers, equal access to remedies for violations of workers’ rights, and accelerated paths to citizenship for farmworkers and DREAMers. Its significance for working families cannot be overstated: Immigrants who gain legal status will also gain the ability to enforce core labor rights without fear of retaliation and deportation. For the first time, many will be able to stand up and demand the right to fair wages and protection against employment discrimination, and gain the real ability to join with other workers to improve their wages and working conditions. Newly legalized workers will see their wages increase by 15 percent and their poverty rates decline.
Read More >
FILED UNDER: Immigration Reform
Jun. 27, 2013
EMPLOYERS WHO OWE UNPAID WAGES RARELY PAY UP
EMPLOYERS WHO OWE UNPAID WAGES RARELY PAY UP
Workers Cheated Out of Wages Unable to Hold Employers Accountable; Company Machinations Make it Tough to Collect
LOS ANGELES— Over 83 percent of workers in California are unable to hold employers accountable and recover their unpaid wages after receiving a legal judgment in their favor, according to a groundbreaking study by the National Employment Law Project and the UCLA Labor Center. The study, Hollow Victories: The Crisis in Collecting Unpaid Wages for California’s Workers, exposes the challenges that workers face in collecting wages owed from their employers—even after state authorities rule in the workers’ favor and order employers to pay. The report was released Thursday morning at a live press event featuring workers who have tried to claim their unpaid wages, representatives from State Assembly Member Bonnie Lowenthal’s office and labor leaders.
The first of its kind, the study finds that the majority 60 percent of businesses found liable for unpaid wages ultimately suspend, forfeit, cancel or dissolve their businesses, making it more difficult for employees to collect the wages they are owed.Read More >
FILED UNDER: Wage Theft
Jun. 20, 2013
Affirming the Right for All to Workers’ Compensation: The Fight of Immigrant Workers
NELP's Rebecca Smithon the availablility of workers' compensation protections for immigrant workers:
Jesus Gonzalez came to the U.S. in 2003 from Mexico. He worked for a painting company in New Mexico. In August of 2006, he fell off a ladder and, as a result, had to go through multiple surgeries and months of physical therapy.
In April, 2008, Mr. Gonzalez’ employer called him back to work at a lighter-duty job. There was one catch: Mr. Gonzalez would be required to fill out a new employment application which would explicitly include verification of his eligibility for employment. Mr. Gonzalez could not do so, and was rejected for employment by a company which, not so incidentally, had never properly complied with federal law regarding verification of Mr. Gonzalez’ eligibility to work in the United States.
Two weeks ago, the New Mexico Supreme Court affirmed an award of partial disability benefits to Mr. Gonzalez, finding that undocumented workers are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits under New Mexico law, and that the company’s return to work offer was illusory.
For the rest of the article, visit the Workers' Comp Hub.Read More >
FILED UNDER: Workers’ Compensation
Jun. 12, 2013
Petition to U.S. Congress: Protect Guestworkers for the Sake of ALL Workers
From the National Guestworkers' Alliance:
As the Senate votes this week on amendments to the immigration bill drafted by the “gang of eight,” it needs to make sure that it doesn’t bring one group of immigrant workers out of the shadows while trapping another in captive labor.
Hundreds of guestworkers have emerged from labor camps across America in recent years to expose severe labor abuse in federal temporary worker programs. From food processing to construction, from the Wal-Mart seafood supply chain to the Hershey’s Chocolate packing plant, guestworkers have revealed how employers and their recruiters abuse guestworker programs as a source of cheap, exploitable labor. When they do, they also drive down wages and conditions for tens of millions of U.S. workers who work alongside guestworkers.
Please sign a petition to tell Congress that immigration reform must include key guestworker protections--for the sake of all workers.Read More >
Jun. 11, 2013
New Report on Domestic Workers in CA Show Few Protections
A new report, Home Truths, from the National Domestic Workers Alliance, reveals that 75 years after the passage of the Fair Labor Standards Act, domestic workers in California have little protection and work under highly vulnerable conditions.
When federal minimum wage and overtime laws were passed 75 years ago, domestic workers were excluded from even those basic labor protections. Back then, domestic work wasn’t considered real work, and 75 years later, our nation’s labor laws still don’t recognize the contributions of domestic workers across California.
The report shows that:
- 25 percent of workers surveyed are paid below California’s minimum wage.
- 6 in 10 earn a wage that is below the level needed to adequately support a family.
- 23 percent had no food to eat in the last month because they lacked resources to obtain it—an extreme form of food insecurity.
- Only 6 percent work for employers who pay into Social Security.
You can read the full report here.Read More >
FILED UNDER: Domestic/Homecare Workers