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. 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 >
Mar. 6, 2013
Elected Officials, Immigrant Advocates Call for Stronger Protections for Immigrant Workers
New report reveals California immigrant workers are routinely subject to retaliation by employers
On Wednesday, March 6th at 10:30 am in Capitol Room 317, legislators, labor leaders and immigrant rights groups will call for stronger protections for California’s immigrant workers. At the press conference, the National Employment Law Center will be releasing a new report, Workers' Rights on ICE: How Immigration Reform Can Stop Retaliation and Advance Labor Rights--California, from that shows California’s immigrant workers are routinely subject to abuse and retaliation from unscrupulous employers.Read More >
Feb. 26, 2013 | Posted by: Eunice Cho
New Report Exposes How Employers Take Advantage of Broken Immigration System to Exploit Workers
Study details how employers use immigration enforcement to retaliate against workers, and points to opportunities for reform in current immigration debate.
New York—With immigration reform under serious consideration in Congress, a report released Tuesday by the National Employment Law Project exposes how current immigration policies intended to stop employers from hiring undocumented workers have instead allowed unscrupulous employers to evade both immigration and labor laws.
Through nearly two-dozen case studies, the report paints a shocking picture of how employers use immigration enforcement, or the threat of it, to retaliate against workers who seek to exercise their basic workplace rights. In many instances, workers who tried to collect unpaid wages, report safety violations, escape abuse by their employers, or organize in the workplace were detained and deported by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, with little recourse for their labor rights.
Former U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis endorsed the findings of the report. “As U.S. labor secretary, my top priority was to protect the labor rights of all workers, including those seeking a path to citizenship,” Solis said. “We must never allow immigration status to be used as a weapon to silence the courageous individuals who stand up against wage theft and other labor abuses. While I’m proud of the protections that the Labor Department has put in place for immigrant workers, there is still more to do. The protections we pioneered at the Labor Department need to be included as part of immigration reform.”Read More >