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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

WHD News Release: [06/24/2010]
Contact Name: Dolline Hatchett
Phone Number: (202) 693-4667
Release Number: 10-0890-NAT

US Department of Labor statement on ‘We Can Help’ campaign

WASHINGTONIn response to questions regarding the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division's "We Can Help" campaign — an effort to educate workers across the United States of their rights under the law — the department today issued the following statement:

"Through Democratic and Republican administrations, the Department of Labor consistently has held that the country's minimum wage and overtime law protects workers regardless of their immigration status. To argue otherwise diminishes the value of work in this country.

"This position provides two very important protections. First, it ensures that U.S. workers have a level playing field when seeking employment. Consider the lost advantage to U.S. workers when unscrupulous employers purposely pass them over to hire workers who are afraid to file a complaint about not being paid the minimum wage or often not being paid at all.

"Second, no employer should gain an economic edge by hiring undocumented individuals who feel that they must accept working conditions below those required by law. Good employers, who abide by the law, should not suffer the consequences of those businesses engaged in a race to the bottom."

For more information on the "We Can Help" campaign, visit http://www.dol.gov/wecanhelp.