Find Your Consulate

Commercial produce operation

"I was threatened or retaliated against"

You have a right to be protected from retaliation regardless of your immigration status.

For more information on retaliation, you can also visit

An employer cannot retaliate against a worker for exercising their rights, filing a complaint or cooperating with an investigation. The H-2A and H-2B programs and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA) include specific protections against retaliation for workers.

You can visit the Wages and the Fair Labor Standards Act page for more information.

Federal labor laws are intended to protect worker safety, health, and pay and to prevent employers from discriminating against workers. You have a right to be protected from retaliation regardless of your immigration status. Many federal laws, including those applicable to the H-2A and H-2B visa programs and MSPA, protect workers from retaliation; your employer cannot terminate your employment or take other adverse action against you for exercising your rights.

Firing workers for raising safety concerns is illegal. You can file a complaint about your working conditions with the Labor Department, and your information will be kept confidential. In some cases, immigration status may limit the remedies that you'll be able to obtain if your employer unlawfully retaliated against you.

Anti-retaliation protections safeguard the basic rights afforded to workers in the United States. As noted above, you have a right to be protected from retaliation, including retaliation based on immigration status or retaliation that involves immigration enforcement. These protections ensure that workers can complain to the government, take part in labor investigations, or make inquiries to their employers about violations of the law without fear that they will be terminated or subject to other adverse actions as a result.

In addition to legal actions that workplace enforcement agencies can take to prevent or stop employer retaliation, workplace enforcement agencies, including DOL enforcement agencies (such as OSHA and WHD), the NLRB, the EEOC, and some other labor agencies can also help protect workers who report workplace violations or who fear participating in workplace investigations. Workers who face such issues at their workplace can seek the support of the DOL and other labor enforcement agencies in requesting discretionary immigration protections such as deferred action. Additionally, workers who are subject to certain workplace crimes may be eligible for a U or T visa certification.  For more information, visit DOL's webpage on requesting a statement of support for deferred action or other discretionary immigration protection, DHS's webpage on support for enforcing labor and employment laws, NLRB's webpage on Immigrant Worker Rights, OSHA's webpage on U & T visa certifications, or WHD's webpage on U & T visa certifications.

Migrant workers who work in the U.S. through a temporary visa program always have a right to report violations to the U.S. government. Also, migrant workers in temporary visa programs and beyond may also be able to sue their employer under local, state, or federal law. Workers should consider consulting with a worker advocate or attorney to find out more about their right to sue for different suspected violations.

There are two special types of visas that can provide temporary immigration status if you are a victim of certain crimes. You could qualify for a U visa if you have suffered physical or mental abuse because of criminal activity and can provide information to law enforcement or government officials who are investigating the crime. You could qualify for a T visa if you are a victim of human trafficking and are willing to help law enforcement investigate the human trafficking crime. You should consider consulting with a worker advocate or attorney to find out whether you are eligible under these visa programs.

For more information, visit OSHA's webpage on U & T visa certifications or WHD's webpage on U & T visa certifications.