Friday, September 02, 2005

Community news

NCLR RELEASES EMPLOYMENT RIGHTS FACT SHEET FOR LABOR DAY

Washington, DC – A new publication to help safeguard Hispanics in the workplace, Know Your Rights on the Job Q & A was released by the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the U.S. The fact sheet's question-and-answer format is designed to educate Hispanic employees on their rights and how to combat common forms of discrimination often experienced by this group.

"Hispanics accounted for more than one million of the 2.5 million new jobs created last year, according to the Pew Hispanic Center. Many of these workers are either in relatively low-skill occupations or are immigrants or both. As a result, these workers are often unaware of their rights in the U.S. and are subjected to discriminatory practices," stated Janet Murguia, NCLR President and CEO.

The precarious working conditions frequently endured by Latinos are also addressed in Know Your Rights on the Job Q & A. According to an article published by the Department of Labor's Office of Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), "Hispanic or Latino workers suffered a disproportionate number of workplace deaths."

Know Your Rights on the Job Q & A emphasizes that employers in the U.S. must provide a work environment that is safe and healthy for their employees. The publication is designed to bolster the efforts of organizations such as OSHA which has reached out to Spanish-speaking Latino workers by translating publications into Spanish, initiating a national clearinghouse for training materials in Spanish, and creating a Spanish-language website for employers and employees.

Among the questions addressed in the fact sheet are:

Hiring Discrimination

Q: I believe I was refused employment simply because I am Latino. What can I do?

Workplace Safety

Q: I did not understand the safety issues and benefits because they were explained to me in English. What can I do?

Health Care

Q: I don't have health insurance. What can I do if I get hurt or sick?

Language Rights

Q: My employer does not allow my coworkers and me to speak Spanish on the job. Is this legal?

Wages and Hours

Q: I may be working too many hours and not receiving pay. What is the minimum wage and how long is a standard workweek? Do I deserve more pay for the work I am doing?

Joining a Labor Union

Q: I want to join a labor union. Does this put my job in jeopardy?

Law Enforcement Actions

Q: I was at work one day when the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS, formerly INS) came and took us all to jail. What are my rights?

NCLR's fact sheet Know Your Rights on the Job Q & A will be disseminated to community-based organizations throughout the country and can also be downloaded free of charge on NCLR's website at www.nclr.org. For more information, please contact Marcela Salazar at msalazar@nclr.org or at (202) 785-1670.

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source: NCLR press release
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