American workers have the right to healthy, clean working conditions and to be paid every penny that they rightfully earn. That’s the message U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis is promoting Aug. 27-31 during Labor Rights Week.
“This week we celebrate Labor Rights Week throughout the United States,” Solis said in a special video message. “It’s a week to rededicate ourselves to make workplaces fair and safe.”
Labor Rights Week honors the contributions of all workers, regardless of language barriers or immigration status. In the video, Solis shared her own story of her parents immigrating from Mexico and Nicaragua and working difficult jobs to give Solis the chance to go to college. By watching her parents, Solis said she “learned at a very young age the value of a hard day’s work.”
Some immigrant workers, however, may be at risk of facing unfair or unsafe conditions.
“We know that some workers can be vulnerable to abuse due to language barriers or immigration status,” Solis said. “So we all have an important role to play, especially on behalf of these workers. That’s why the U.S. Department of Labor is partnering with 153 foreign consulates across the country. Together we are committed to making sure workers are safe on the job and paid what they are owed by law. This means you may not be paid less than the federal minimal age, it means that overtime must be paid for each hour above 40 hours a week, and it means that employers must provide a safe workplace for everyone.”
OSHA and the Wage and Hour Division are participating in Labor Rights Week events throughout the nation. The events, amplifying this year's theme of "Promoting Labor Rights Is Everyone's Responsibility," include joining with the consulates of Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico and others in activities and events throughout the week.
“When employers follow our labor laws, workers are more productive and businesses can grow. When the rights of workers are respected, it helps our economy. And if you think your job is unsafe, or you feel you haven’t been paid the wages you’ve earned, you have a legal right to file a complaint,” Solis said.
“So as we celebrate Labor Rights Week, let’s work together to make the American workplace safe and fair for everyone.”
View the calendar of events that will take place in cities including Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Denver, Houston, Dallas and more during Labor Rights Week.