Ensuring Safe and Healthful Working Conditions

Despite a 50-year-old law requiring employers to provide a safe workplace, more than 5,000 working people are killed on the job every year, and nearly three million suffer a serious injury or illness. Black, Latinx, immigrant, and indigenous workers labor in the most dangerous jobs and suffer the highest injury and fatality rates.

A serious injury or workplace fatality takes an enormous emotional and physical toll on workers, their families, and their communities. In fact, a workplace injury can force workers and their families out of the middle class and into poverty, contributing to growing economic inequality.

Working together with allies, NELP is a leader in creating policy solutions to ensure that workers have safety and health protections, especially in dangerous low-paying jobs where workers of color are disproportionately represented.

We are fighting to ensure robust enforcement of workplace safety and anti-retaliation protections, and to improve workers’ compensation programs for injured workers, both in terms of program design and accessibility. And we are working with partners to educate policymakers and the public about solutions to hold irresponsible employers accountable and to ensure that workers don’t have to sacrifice their lives for a paycheck.


News Releases

POWER ACT Would Strengthen Immigrant Worker Power & Raise Workplace Standards for All Workers

The bill would ensure that immigrant workers can assert their workplace rights without fear of immigration-based retaliation.

Posted Mar 28, 2023 Read More

News Releases

Homeland Security Announcement Affirms Protections for Immigrant Workers Reporting Workplace Abuses

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced new guidance on the agency’s procedures for granting temporary immigration relief and work authorization(…)

Posted Jan 13, 2023 Read More

Press Clips

Amazon Employee Dies at Fulfillment Center During Prime Day

An Amazon employee died at a New Jersey fulfillment center during the online retailer’s massive Prime Day sales event last week.

via Rolling Stone, Jul 18, 2022 Read More

Protecting Workers During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Worker safety is in crisis in this pandemic. To protect public health, we must protect worker health. NELP is advocating for states to issue necessary protective measures and for OSHA to issue a standard to protect workers from COVID-19 and other similar infectious diseases.

Ensuring Strong Federal and State Enforcement and Standards: Reversing the Rollbacks

NELP works with allies across the country to ensure that federal and state worker safety and health protections remain strong. We are dedicated to bringing attention to dangerous conditions and fighting back when policymakers try to weaken these protections.

Enforcement Resources
















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Protecting Workers in the Meat/Poultry, Fast Food, and Warehousing Industries

NELP focuses on the health and safety hazards and risks facing Black and Brown workers in dangerous low-paid industries, developing policy solutions that ensure that workers don’t have to sacrifice their lives for a paycheck. NELP is a leader in the fight to raise labor standards in the meat and poultry industry, which is built on the backs of Black, Latinx, and immigrant workers. We coordinate the fight against policies that would allow plants to increase line speeds and endanger workers, consumers, and animal welfare. NELP has also published reports highlighting the dangerous conditions faced by workers at Amazon warehouses and McDonald’s restaurants.

Workers on a poultry processing line

Defending Workers’ Rights to Compensation for Work-Related Injuries and Illness

Workers’ compensation, often known as the “grand bargain,” is failing workers big time. Over the past two decades, changes in state laws governing workers’ compensation—a system that has been in place for more than 100 years—have made it much harder for injured workers to receive adequate benefits, which are paltry when they are awarded. Further, an increasing number of studies confirm that only a fraction of injured workers receive any benefits at all. We hope the following resources are useful to advocates who work on improving their state’s workers’ compensation laws and preventing further rollbacks of these critical worker protections.

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