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Center for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships
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Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships

Worker Protection

"We Can Help" Campaign

The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) is responsible for administering and enforcing some of the nation's most important worker protection laws. WHD is committed to ensuring that workers in this country are paid properly and for all the hours they work, regardless of immigration status. Faith-based and community organizations, including worker centers, play a vital role in educating workers about their rights and helping them file complaints with WHD. Contact WHD at 1-866-4-USWAGE (1-866-487-9243).

OSHA releases mobile app to help protect workers from heat-related illnesses

On August 11, 2011, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration released a free application for mobile devices that enables workers and supervisors to monitor the heat index at their work sites in order to prevent heat-related illnesses.

New Protocols for Certifying U Visa Applications

On April 28, 2011, the Labor Department announced protocols to complete the portion of the U visa nonimmigrant status application requiring certification by a law enforcement agency that the applicant is a victim of a qualifying crime and willing to cooperate with law enforcement. U visas, as they are known, are designed to help victims of qualifying criminal activities who have suffered substantial physical or mental abuse.

DOL's Enforcement Database 2.0

This new web site – part of an Administration wide Open Government initiative – aims to make the enforcement data collected by the Department of Labor's worker protection agencies accessible and searchable. The site also aims to engage the public in new and creative ways of using this data. The site allows users to search enforcement data by DOL agency, state or zip code, and other items such as employer name, violation type, year, and penalty amount.

New Rule on Cranes and Derricks in Construction

On July 28, 2010, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a new rule addressing the use of cranes and derricks in construction, which will replace a decades-old standard. Approximately 267,000 construction, crane rental, and crane certification establishments employing about 4.8 million workers will be affected by the rule, which will take effect on November 8, 2010.

US Department of Labor Deputy Secretary Seth Harris' Testimony on Worker Misclassification

On June 17, 2010, Deputy Secretary Seth Harris testified before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions where he outlined the threats facing workers who are misclassified as independent contractors and expressed support for the Employee Misclassification Prevention Act.

New Employee Notification Requirements for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors

Pursuant to Executive Order 13496 and its implementing regulations, 29 C.F.R. Part 471, contractors holding contracts with the Federal government and their subcontractors are required, beginning on June 21, 2010, to post notices informing employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The notice to employees required by the regulations inform employees about their rights under the NLRA to form, join and support a union and to bargain collectively with their employer; provides examples of unlawful employer and union conduct that interferes with those rights; and indicates how employees can contact the National Labor Relations Board, the federal agency that enforces those rights, with questions or complaints. Contractors that violate the Labor Department's regulations requiring employee notification of these rights may be subject to sanctions, including suspension or cancelation of the contract.

New Child Labor Regulations

On May 20, 2010, the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division published a Final Rule designed to protect working children from hazards in the workplace while also recognizing the value of safe work to children and their families. The Final Rule contains the most ambitious and far-reaching revisions to the child labor regulations in the last thirty years and marks another step forward in the Department's ongoing effort to promote positive, safe work experiences for young workers. The provisions of the Final Rule will become effective on July 19, 2010.

New H-2A Regulations

On March 15, 2010 new regulations for the H-2A temporary agricultural program went into effect. The H-2A program establishes a means for agricultural employers who anticipate a shortage of domestic workers to bring nonimmigrant foreign workers to the U.S. to perform agricultural labor or services of a temporary or seasonal nature. The new regulations improve U.S. worker access to agricultural jobs, increase wages for H2A workers, and strengthen standards for employer-provided transportation and housing.

National Action Summit for Latino Worker Health & Safety

On April 14 and 15, 2010 the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) brought together 1,000 participants in Houston, TX for a first-of-its-kind conference aimed at reducing injuries and illnesses among Latino workers by enhancing knowledge of their workplace rights and improving their ability to exercise those rights. Participants included Latino workers, faith-based and community organizations, worker centers, employers, unions, consulates, the medical community, health and safety professionals, and government representatives.