U.S. Department of Labor in conjunction with the Mexican and Salvadorian Consulates
in Dallas and other community and governmental organizations launched the Justice
and Equality in the Workplace Program of Dallas.
The program seeks to educate workers on their rights and responsibilities as
well as provide an avenue for non-English speakers to report violations of laws
enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration,
Wage and Hour Division and Office of Federal Contract Compliance.
"The administration is committed to protecting the well being of the over
14.5 million Hispanic workers in our country," says U.S. Secretary of Labor
Elaine L. Chao. "We want to help Hispanic workers realize the American
dream and be an integral part of the American workforce."
The partnership seeks to educate Hispanics and recent immigrant workers on
their rights and responsibilities as well as encourage them to report violations
of laws enforced by the Department of Labor and other federal agencies. The
partnership also formalizes a shared commitment by the Labor Department and
Consulates of Mexico and El Salvador to work together through information sharing
and mutual support to promote justice, safety, and equality in the workplace.
A telephone line will be dedicated to receive inquiries from the public and
channel those calls to the appropriate federal or state agency. OSHA, Wage and
Hour Division and OFCCP will conduct training sessions and provide assistance
the Mexican Consulate in Dallas with the tools necessary to refer complaints
to appropriate DOL agencies.
The Houston Justice and Equality in the Workplace Program, which was created
in July 2001, has already aided the Wage and Hour Division to recover over $1.3
million in back wages for 1,900 workers as the result of investigations initiated
by referrals from the partnership, according to the agency. OSHA, with the help
of the Justice and Equality in the Workplace Program, will disseminate health
and safety information, compliance assistance information and enforcement of
health and safety laws.