NELP News: Jobless Discrimination, Immigration Reform & More


New York City Council Tackles Unemployment Discrimination

You shouldn't have to have a job in order to get a job.  But many employers are refusing to even consider applicants who are out of work.  Such exclusions are damaging not only to unemployed job-seekers but to our fragile economic recovery--in addition to being just plain wrong.

On January 23rd, by a vote of 44 to 4, the New York City Council passed landmark legislation making it illegal to discriminate in hiring against the unemployed.  Mayor Michael Bloomberg has vowed to veto it, but there's more than enough support to override a veto.  Our fact sheet has more info about the bill, which is the strongest measure of its kind in the nation.


NY City Council Passes Unemployment Discrimination Bill

Immigration Reform Must Include Strong Worker Protections

Immigration reform is back on the national agenda, with last week's rollout of reform principles from President Obama and a bipartisan group of senators.

Strong labor protections--including safeguards ensuring that all workers can exercise their workplace rights without fear of retaliation and regardless of immigration status--must be part of any serious reform proposal.  NELP will be working to make sure it's all in there!

We've developed a chart summarizing immigration reform bills from the recent past, with particular attention to provisions affecting immigrant workers.  Check out our Immigrant Worker Justice Blog for updates as this big story unfolds.  Stay tuned!


Workers' Rights a Must in Immigration Reform

Campaign to Raise New York's Minimum Wage Heats Up 

NELP joined with allies from labor, religious, and community groups in Albany last week to rally for an increase in New York State's minimum wage, which currently stands at $7.25 an hour.

Participants submitted over 30,000 petition signatures calling on the state legislature to take up Governor Andrew Cuomo's proposal to raise the minimum wage to $8.75, and also to index the rate to keep up with inflation.

NELP and the Fiscal Policy Institute also released a report showing that a bump up to $8.75 would increase the paychecks of more than 1.5 million low-paid New Yorkers, generate more than $1 billion in new consumer spending, and support the creation of 7,300 new full-time jobs, as businesses expand to meet increased demand.

The New York campaign is just one of a number of minimum wage campaigns around the nation receiving support from NELP.  Find out the latest at


Rallying for Min Wage Increase in Albany, NY

First 100 Days: Moving Forward on Workers' Rights 

In December, NELP issued a federal policy agenda for the first 100 days of President Obama's new term and the new Congress.  How's it going so far? 

Regarding the first item on our agenda, we're happy to report that Congress reauthorized the federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation program through 2013, as part of the fiscal-cliff deal struck over the New Year.  This preserves a vital lifeline of support for more than five million long-term unemployed workers who will run out of state unemployment insurance in 2013. 

Next up:  Fixing outdated Labor Department rules that exclude our nation's 2.5 million home care workers from basic minimum wage and overtime protections.  (Here's a recent NPR story about it.)  The draft final rule is now with the White House's Office of Management and Budget, the final stop before becoming law.  OMB has 90 days to issue the final rule.  We'll keep you posted!    


100 Days Agenda -- Unemployment Insurance Extension Passed

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