Albany, NY (May 13, 2011) -
The New York State Department of Labor, in collaboration with the New York State Assembly, is sponsoring the first Immigrant Workers’ Rights Awareness Weekend on May 14 and 15. Seventeen events will take place across the state – in New York City, Long Island, Yonkers, Albany, Syracuse, Rockland County and Buffalo. The purpose of these events is to inform immigrant workers and their employers about workplace protections, new laws passed in the last year, and what workers can do if their rights are violated.
Immigrant workers are a vital part of New York State's workforce. They make up more than one-fifth (21%) of New York State’s population and almost 27% of its workforce. In New York City, immigrants make up more than one-third (37%) of the population, and almost one-half (45%) of the work force. New York’s immigrants are responsible for $229 billion in economic output in New York State, or 22.4% of the total New York State GDP.1
However, immigrant workers are more likely to be abused or taken advantage of by employers due to cultural and language barriers, isolation, fear of authorities and a lack of knowledge of the laws that protect them.
The Department of Labor works to inform workers about their rights in the workplace through its Bureau of Immigrant Workers’ Rights and other outreach efforts, often in collaboration with community organizations. To learn more about the Department’s services call 1-888-4-LABOR or visit www.labor.ny.gov.
View an Immigrant Workers' Rights Awareness Weekend informational flyer (pdf - opens in a new window).
1Source: Fiscal Policy Institute calculation based on Bureau of Economic Analysis estimate of Gross Domestic Product by State and ACS PUMS.