Dec. 18, 2013
December 18: Happy International Migrants Day!
On December 18, 1990, the UN General Assembly approved the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, which affirms the rights of all migrants, regardless of citizenship or immigration status. A decade later, the United Nations officially designated December 18 as International Migrants Day. In 2003, the Convention “entered into force;” today, 45 countries have ratified or acceded to the Convention. For more information on International Migrants Day activities, visit www.nnirr.org.Read More >
FILED UNDER: Immigrant Workers
Nov. 15, 2013
Upcoming Webinar: California’s New Immigrant Worker Protections
In its most recent legislative session, California has enacted groundbreaking new laws to protect immigrant workers. The result of dedicated organizing and advocacy, California’s immigrant workers will benefit from these historical developments. Join our upcoming webinar where advocates intimately involved in the push for these bills will review the implications of these new laws for workers, and discuss next steps for implementation. The webinar will cover the California Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, new laws designed to protect immigrant workers from retaliation by their employers, and new protections for carwash and agricultural workers.
Rocio Avila, Women’s Employment Rights Clinic, GGU
Eunice Hyunhye Cho, National Employment Law Project
Nicole Marquez, Worksafe, Inc.
Michael Marsh, California Rural Legal Aid
Victor Narro, UCLA Labor Center
Mark Schacht, California Rural Legal Aid Foundation
Caitlin Vega, California Labor Federation
Date: Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 10:00-11:30 AM PST. The webinar is free of charge. To register, visit: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/3nesh8lt76hg&eom.Read More >
Nov. 15, 2013
Iowa Supreme Court Rules that Undocumented Workers Can Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits
The Iowa Supreme Court has issued an opinion in Staff Management v. Jimenez that under Iowa's workers' compensation laws, undocumented workers are eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. The Court joins the majority of state courts who have reached this issue. The National Employment Law Project authored an amicus brief [link to amicus] in this case.
In its decision, the Court held that the enforcement of an employment contract does not undermine the policy purposes of the IRCA. Moreover, an employment contract with an undocumented worker does not inherently have an illegal purpose, and it is void as illegal merely because the contract is with an undocumented worker. Moreover, the Court ruled that the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) does not preempt Iowa workers’ compensation law.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. 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 >