Bilingual consulate employees have been trained by the Labor Department to screen calls and connect workers with appropriate department staff for assistance. Since December, 90 percent of the callers have been construction workers.
“Often, Hispanic workers do not realize they have protections under the Occupational Safety and Health Act and other Labor Department laws,” said Cindy Coe Laseter, OSHA's Atlanta regional administrator.
The hotline – (404) 262-4466 – was set up under an alliance between the Mexican Consulate, OSHA and Georgia Tech Research Institute’s Safety, Health and Environmental Technology Division. The goal of the agreement is to reduce injuries, illnesses and fatalities among Hispanic workers.
“We also encourage Hispanic workers to call the hotline if they have questions about unpaid wages or overtime pay, which are covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act, administered by the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division," said Consul General of Mexico in Atlanta Remedios Gomez-Arnau.
“The Wage and Hour Division has been working cooperatively with the Mexican Consulate training their intake workers on making referrals to us and other agencies,” said John McKeon, regional administrator, southeast region, Wage and Hour Division.
The Mexican Consulate’s phone number complements OSHA’s toll-free number, (800) 321-OSHA (6742). The OSHA line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to report workplace safety and health hazards.