Labor Seal NYS Department of Labor                          

Contact Leo Rosales Cell: 518-281-6167 Office: 518-457-5519 Email: leo.rosales@labor.ny.gov www.labor.ny.gov
NYS DEPARTMENT OF LABOR ANNOUNCES NEW BUREAU OF IMMIGRANT WORKERS' RIGHTS
Agency Hiring 10 New Bilingual Labor Standards Investigators
Exams to be given June 16 for Spanish- & Korean-Speaking Investigators

Albany, NY (May 03, 2007) - State Labor Commissioner M. Patricia Smith today announced the creation of the Bureau of Immigrant Workers’ Rights. The new Bureau will be based in New York City and will address the growing needs of immigrant workers throughout New York State. “Immigrant workers represent a vital and growing segment of New York State's workforce and we are committed to protecting their rights,” Commissioner Smith said. “Every worker, regardless of immigration status, deserves to have access to the Labor Department's programs and we will work hard to make that happen.”

In 2006, immigrants accounted for 2.47 million, or 26%, of the workforce in New York State. In New York City, immigrants accounted for 1.76 million, or 47% of the workforce.

The Bureau of Immigrant Workers' Rights will be the primary point of contact for immigrants in need of the Department's services. It will reach out to immigrant groups, receive their input, and direct people to the proper resources within the Department. The Bureau will also systematically analyze the Department's programs and policies to assess ways in which the Department could be more responsive to immigrant workers' needs.

The Department of Labor enforces labor laws such as the state's minimum wage and overtime laws; administers the unemployment insurance system; and also provides job seekers with services such as job training and referrals.

In addition to a director and an assistant, the Bureau will be staffed by one immigrant community liaison located in New York City and one in upstate New York. They will conduct outreach to advocacy and immigrant groups to inform them of the Department's programs, and will assist groups in bringing matters to the Department's attention.

To further address and protect the rights of all workers, the Department of Labor is hiring 10 additional bilingual labor standards investigators, to be located in New York City, Buffalo and Long Island. “Too often, workers who do not speak English fall prey to unscrupulous employers who pay sub-minimum wages for excessively long workweeks,” said Commissioner Smith. “These additional bilingual investigators will help us protect this vulnerable segment of the workforce.” They will augment a statewide team of 29 bilingual investigators that speak Spanish, Chinese or Korean.

To meet present and future hiring needs, a NYS Department of Civil Service examination for Spanish- and Korean-speaking labor standards investigators will be held on June 16, 2007 at test sites throughout the state. The application deadline for the free-of-charge test is May 14, 2007.

For information on job qualifications and instructions on how to apply for these positions, please see the NYS Department of Civil Service web site at www.cs.state.ny.us/examannouncements/announcements/oc/24-785.cfm. Individuals can also obtain applications by calling toll-free 1-877-697-5627 (press 2, then press 3).

Candidates should also submit a resume c/o Sharon.Burnette@labor.state.ny.us by May 14, 2007.

Resumes may also be faxed to 212-621-0826. Questions should be directed to Sharon Burnette at 212-621-9318.

For information about the Department of Labor, please visit the Department's web site at www.labor.state.ny.us.