Program Changes in the Labor Department Budget for FY 2010
DOL Program Initiatives for Immigrants
The Department of Labor's commitment to assisting new immigrants to succeed in the American economy is built into its programs, from the Employment and Training Administration's effort to provide employment services to new immigrants to DOL's worker-protection agency efforts to ensure that new immigrants are afforded full protection under employment laws in languages they understand. Specific initiatives include the following:
Employment and Training Administration
The New Americans Centers Demonstration Project aims to assist immigrants in becoming a part of the local community through employment and immigration assistance. New Americans Centers, along with various partners, such as local community-based organizations, American Job Centers, adult education and other training providers including Chambers of Commerce, provided services in areas such as citizenship and language training. They also provided workforce development and job placement; small-business assistance; economic development strategies for employers; community service referrals and supportive services; resettlement assistance; translation, immigration, technical, and legal assistance concerning documentation and civic responsibilities; and other social services.
Employee Benefits Security Administration
EBSA's benefits advisors are available to assist individuals who may have questions about their employer-provided health or retirement benefits or who may need assistance in obtaining the benefits to which they are entitled. Located throughout the country in ten regional offices, they are accessible via a toll-free telephone line, by mail, and electronically through the agency's intranet site. A translation service is available to the benefits advisors and any non-English-speaking callers for translation assistance in more than 100 languages.
EBSA also has a number of publications and materials available in Spanish to assist employees, their families, and employers. The publications for employees includes information on health benefits, especially important decisions to make at major life and work events, COBRA, benefit rights related to a mastectomy, as well as information on retirement savings.
Employment Services Administration: Wage and Hour Division
Wage and Hour Division (WHD) provides a variety of materials in foreign languages to help employers and employees understand their rights and responsibilities under federal labor laws. Currently, WHD has 125 compliance-assistance materials translated in foreign languages. WHD also partners with other federal agencies, state and local government agencies, community and faith-based programs and foreign consulates to reach immigrant communities.
While the majority of WHD's outreach programs and materials are not limited to new Americans, WHD does recognize the need to reach this segment of the population. For example, in collaboration with the Department of State, WHD disseminates H-1B worker-rights cards to all new visa holders. In addition, WHD attends and distributes WHD publications translated in Spanish and Asian languages at naturalization ceremonies in Houston, Texas.
Mine Safety and Health Administration
MSHA has translated its entire Web site into Spanish and has an online translation service that will translate, on the fly, all html Web pages. MSHA has Spanish training materials; hazard alerts; safety and health campaigns; PowerPoint presentations; stickers; flyers; DVDs; VHSs; and several sections of the Code of Federal Regulations (Part 46, training and retraining of miners at sand, gravel, and certain other mines; Part 48, training and retraining of miners; Part 57, safety and health standards for underground metal and nonmetal mines; and Part 62, occupational noise exposure). The agency conducts, in Spanish, safety and health campaigns and meetings at mines employing Spanish-speaking miners. MSHA also employs Spanish-speaking inspectors and educational field services and small-mines personnel that are fluent in Spanish and able to communicate with Spanish-speaking miners.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
OSHA has extensive compliance assistance and training resources for Hispanic employers and workers on its Web site, which includes links to Spanish-language resources, including the OSHA construction eTool; English-to-Spanish and Spanish-to-English dictionaries of OSHA terms, general industry terms, and construction terms; employment law guides; public-service announcements about OSHA; training videos for OSHA outreach trainers; and many OSHA publications, such as QuickCards, fact sheets, and the agency's "It's the Law" poster in Spanish and Polish. It also includes a link to the Hispanic outreach module of Compliance Assistance Quick Start module to help employers with a Spanish-speaking workforce learn more about workplace rights and responsibilities, identify Spanish-language outreach resources, learn how they can work cooperatively with OSHA, and learn where to find more Hispanic and Spanish-language outreach and training materials.
The OSHA National Helpline at 800-321-OSHA provides Hispanic employers and Spanish-speaking workers with toll-free access to the agency's Spanish-language option for compliance-assistance information and other assistance 24 hours daily.
Through the OSHA Alliance Program, OSHA's national, regional, and area offices sign alliances and work with numerous organizations, including consulates, professional associations, and community- and faith-based organizations to provide outreach material and education and training to the Hispanic community.
The OSHA Hispanic/English-As-A-Second-Language (ESL) coordinators in each of the 10 OSHA regions assist a variety of groups including employers, small businesses, trade associations, union locals, community and faith-based groups and Hispanic workers with outreach, education, and training. They promote cooperative programs, such as the Alliance Program, as well as Spanish/other-than-English training materials, compliance-assistance resources, and tools available on the OSHA Web site.