Nov. 15, 2013
EEOC Meeting Highlights Challenges to Title VII National Origin Enforcement
Growing Immigrant and Ethnic Populations Require Nuanced Approaches to Enforcement of Anti-Discrimination Laws, Panel of Experts Tells Commission
WASHINGTON- The diversity, size and cultural individuality of different ethnic and immigrant groups present challenges to compliance with and enforcement of the nation's anti-discrimination in employment laws, a panel of experts told members of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) at a public meeting held today. The panelists represented diverse stakeholders, including EEOC employees, representatives of major ethnic advocacy groups and management-side attorneys. Panelists included Rebecca Smith, Deputy Director of the National Employment Law Project, who provided testimony to the Commission.Read More >
Nov. 1, 2013
Fact Sheet: New CA Worker Protections Against Retaliation / Protections for Immigrant Workers
The National Employment Law Project has developed a fact sheet on California’s newly-passed laws that provide all workers with strengthened protection against employer retaliation—including specific protections for immigrant workers. The bills, AB 263, AB 524, and SB 666, will take effect on January 1, 2014.
Highlights of the new laws include:
-Strengthened California Labor Code protections against retaliation for all workers, including broadened grounds for findings of employer retaliation, broadened protection for whistleblowers, the ability of workers to update their personal information without fear of retaliation, and increased penalties of up to $10,000 for employer retaliation.
-Clarification that workers may bring a civil suit under the California Labor Code without administrative exhaustion.
-New protections against immigration-related threats by employers, including suspension of business license for employers who retaliate against workers who exercise their workplace rights by threatening to report or reporting immigration status (including witnesses and family members).
-Attorneys may be disciplined, suspended, or disbarred for threatening to report or for reporting immigrant workers involved in an administrative hearing or a civil suit.
-Threats to report immigration status in order to obtain something of value from an individual may constitute criminal extortion under the California Criminal Code. Extortion is also a U-visa certifiable crime.
Join a webinar on this and other new California immigrant worker protections on November 21, 2013 at 10:00 AM PST. To register, visit:Read More >
Sep. 17, 2013
Obama Administration Extends Federal Minimum Wage and Overtime Protections to Nationís Home Care Wo
Washington, DC—The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the release of long-awaited final rules that extend federal minimum wage and overtime protections to two million of our nation’s home care workers. The National Employment Law Project praised the move, which corrects a decades-old injustice that has fueled poverty-level wages and destabilized an increasingly crucial industry.
"Home care workers provide crucial in-home care and support for our elderly or disabled family members, friends, and neighbors; yet these workers have struggled to support their own families,” said Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project. “These reforms are a critical step towards improving wages in one of our country’s fastest-growing occupations. We applaud the Obama administration for keeping its promise to these workers.”Read More >
Sep. 12, 2013
CA Passes Historic Laws Protecting Immigrant Workers from Abusive Employers
New Laws Would Protect Immigrant Workers from Retaliation
Sacramento, CA— The California State legislature has passed new protections designed to stop unscrupulous employers from retaliating against immigrant workers who stand up for their rights. The bills await signature by Governor Jerry Brown.
The California Labor Federation sponsored a package of three bills to protect workers regardless of immigration status. AB 263 (Assemblyman Roger Hernandez) and SB 666 (Senator Darrell Steinberg) will help us enforce basic labor laws by prohibiting employers from using immigration-related threats when workers speak out about unfair working conditions. AB 524 (Assemblyman Kevin Mullin) makes it clear that making immigration threats in order to get away with wage theft may constitute criminal extortion.
“Employers should be on notice that with these bills, retaliating against workers who stand up for their basic rights will have serious consequences,” said Art Pulaski, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the California Labor Federation. “These new protections are vital to protecting all workers who are afraid to report these abuses. As long as unscrupulous employers can exploit low-wage immigrant workers with impunity, all workers suffer.”
The extent of the retaliation against immigrant workers was documented in a recent report by the National Employment Law Project, a co-sponsor of these bills.Read More >
Sep. 12, 2013
California Domestic Workers Win Historic Fight
Senate Passes Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, Awaits Gov. Jerry Brown’s Signature
Statement of Christine Owens, Executive Director, National Employment Law Project:
The National Employment Law Project applauds the California State Senate for its vote last night to pass AB 241, the California Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. This important bill would extend crucial overtime protections to nearly 200,000 domestic workers—protections enjoyed by most other workers in California. We urge Gov. Brown to sign the bill into law to ensure caregivers, nannies, and other domestic workers get the protection and respect they deserve.
Industry standards for domestic workers and the families who rely on them are long overdue. California has long regulated working conditions in private households, but has excluded domestic workers who care for children, elders, and people with disabilities from many basic protections. This historic exclusion is based on long-outdated notions that these workers, primarily immigrant women and often women of color, were not doing “real work” and had no need to earn real wages to support themselves and their families.Read More >
FILED UNDER: Domestic/Homecare Workers