News Release

READOUT: Secretary Walsh, immigrant workers, advocates discuss immigrant workers’ protections, rights, barriers faced on the job

Immigrant workers, advocates share experiences, concerns

WASHINGTON – Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh joined other Department of Labor officials to meet with a group of immigrant workers and worker advocates in Washington on Oct. 6, 2022, to discuss the importance of protecting these workers and strengthening relationships among those committed to their well-being.

The “Protecting Immigrant Workers” roundtable discussion included workers and representatives from the United Farm Workers, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, Unemployed Workers United, Georgia Familias Unidas and Arriba Las Vegas Worker Center.

“No matter where you were born or how you arrived in the United States, you have rights: you have the right to work safely and the right to be paid all of the wages you are owed by law,” said Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh. “Everyone at the Department of Labor is working every day to make sure all workers can enforce their rights on the job.”

The discussion provided an overview of the department’s efforts to protect immigrant workers from workplace retaliation, to educate workers on their right to a safe workplace and to the pay they are owed by law, to ensure workers can assist the department in its enforcement efforts without fear of immigration consequences, and barriers immigrant workers face in the workplace.

“We appreciate the Department of Labor recognizing the valuable contributions of immigrant workers,” said Georgia Systemic Change Coordinator with the United Farm Workers Foundation Alma Young. “Farmworkers are essential workers and deserve to be treated with respect.”

“At the end of the day, all workers have the right to report wage theft and other illegal practices and should feel safe in doing so,” said political director for the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades Liz McElroy. “We appreciate the work of Secretary Walsh and his team to effectively enforce the laws and ensure all immigrant workers can participate in Department of Labor investigations.

In addition to Secretary Walsh, Deputy Secretary of Labor Julie Su, Solicitor of Labor Seema Nanda, Principal Deputy Wage and Hour Administrator Jessica Looman, Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker and International Labor Affairs Bureau Director Thea Lee offered remarks.

Learn more about workers’ rights and protections.

Office of the Secretary
October 7, 2022
Release Number
Media Contact: Victoria Godinez
Media Contact: Mandy McClure
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