Undocumented Workers’ Right to Compensation for Workplace Injuries

After a 10-year legal battle, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has issued a decision affirming the right of millions of undocumented workers to protection from exploitation and discrimination in the workplace. The challenge, led by the National Employment Law Project, the ACLU, and the University of Pennsylvania Law School’s Transnational Legal Clinic, was brought on behalf of two workers who were reported to immigration authorities and prosecuted, rather than receiving the treatment to which they were entitled for injuries suffered on the job.

In its decision, the IACHR determined that the United States is responsible for violating workers’ human rights by denying them the right to equality before the law and access to justice and labor protections. The IAHCR made several recommendations to address those violations including:

  • providing adequate monetary compensation to remedy the violations;
  • ensuring all federal and state laws and policies, on their face and in practice, prohibit any and all distinctions in employment and labor rights based on immigration status and work authorization, once a person commences work as an employee;
  • prohibiting employer inquiries into the immigration status of a worker asserting his or her employment and labor rights in litigation or in administrative complaints;
  • ensuring that all workers are granted the same rights and remedies for violations of their rights in the workplace;
  • establishing a procedure for undocumented workers involved in workers’ compensation proceedings to request the suspension of deportations until receipt of appropriate medical treatment and resolution of claims; and
  • improving and enhancing the detection of employers who violate labor rights and exploit workers because of immigration status and impose adequate sanctions against those employers.

For the full report from the ACLU, click here.

 

 

Holiday wish: happy days for workers

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Holiday shopping marks a make-or-break season for many retailers. Many seasonal and regular workers put in additional time to keep the festivities festive for consumers. Most employers join in the holiday spirit, by hiring extra workers, following all wage and hour rules, and helping workers enjoy a happy holiday season. Some workers, however, will receive the proverbial coal, as a result of employers’ inadvertent, or intentional, failure to pay all wages.

The U.S. Department of Labor has tips for workers and employers to make sure the holidays are happy for all.

 

What is Misclassification?

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“Taking advantage of relaxed U.S. Department of Labor guidelines that now allow for risk-based audits, the Louisiana Workforce Commission has racked up some impressive numbers in tracking down businesses that improperly classify employees.

To date, LWC audits have identified nearly 9,400 employees statewide that have been misclassified as contract labor.”

Read more from buisnessreport.com

 

Dozens take part in ‘Fight for 15’ protest in Gert Town

In New Orleans, protesters stormed down Carrollton Avenue at dawn and right into a McDonald’s restaurant as they continue to demand change when it comes to minimum wages in the city, state and nation.

“We have no state minimum wage in Louisiana, but most people are paid the federal minimum wage of $7.25. Even $15 an hour, what folks are asking for, still gets you to only $31,000 a year,” said Erika Zucker, with Workplace Justice Project at the Loyola Law Center

See the video here.

Read full story here.

Women and Pay in Louisiana

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“According to Gov. John Bel Edwards, women comprise nearly 80 percent of the minimum wage earners in Louisiana. This, he says, contributes to the state’s extreme gender disparity in pay — America’s largest. It’s one more example of Louisiana finishing at the top of a “bad” list.”

Read the full story here.