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Wage and Hour Complaints and Health and Safety Violations
 
Wage and Hour Complaints
 
Immigrant workers often do the important jobs that no one else wants. Concentrated in agriculture, service industries, and manual labor, many immigrant workers are subjected to unsafe and illegal working conditions. Many are victims of wage theft or other violations of labor law.
 
The UFW Foundation assists workers with wage and hour claims, discrimination complaints, and health and safety issues. UFW Foundation staff provide community outreach and education about workers' rights, workplace safety, and the process for reporting and preventing unfair and unsafe employment practices. They work with workers, employers and contractors to resolve disputes and help workers prepare and file wage complaints.
 
The UFW Foundation has assisted dozens of workers in filing wage claims and other labor complaints to defend their rights, including workers in farms, dairies, restaurants and construction. Since 2009, the UFW Foundation has helped workers win over $100,000 in Labor Board judgements, settlements and awards from delinquent employers.   Recent DLSE cases involving UFW Foundation members have included:
 
-A restaurant worker in Kern County who was paid below minimum wage and denied required rest breaks won a judgement for over $15,000 in October 2009 in back wages and penalties from the Labor Commissioner's office (DLSE).
 
-A field worker in the grape harvest in the Central Valley who not paid minimum wage over a period of several weeks was able to win a favorable judgement from the Labor Commissioner totaling over $4000.
 
-A dairy worker who claimed he was denied breaks and required lunch periods at a dairy in Tulare County, California settled a wage claim for over $17,000 with his former employer in 2009.
 
-A crew of 3 landscaping workers in Bakersfield who were paid with checks without funds or went without pay for months at a time was able to win judgements at the DLSE  totaling over $25,000  in unpaid wages and damages in April 2010  
 
Health and Safety Violations  
 
Workers have the right to work in a safe work environment. All workers in the United States have the right to report workplace hazards and other dangerous conditions. In 2005, the United Farm Workers (UFW) and other organizations collaborated to push for special rules to protect farm workers in California from heat-related illnesses. Making sure such workers protections are enforced remains a major challenge. The UFW Foundation assists farm workers in filing health and safety complaints by providing referrals, assisting in the preparation of written complaints, and by providing information about a safety regulations. In addition, we provide outreach and conduct community presentations about workplace health and safety, including:
 
-Heat stress prevention for farm workers  
 
-Use of pesticides and dangerous chemicals
 
-Reporting hazards and safety violations
 
Resources:       If you or someone you know has questions about their rights at work, contact you nearest UFW Foundation office or visit the online resources below:
 
California  
 
DLSE- California Department of Labor Standards Enforcement    Information about wage claims, including how to file a wage claim in California, where to file, and information about the wage claim process.
 
CalOSHA- California Occupational Health And Safety Department     Information about workplace safety, reporting hazards and unsafe conditions, enforcing safety regulations, and filing health and safety complaints.
 
Division of Workers' Compensation    Information for workers who are injured on the job in California
 
Know Your Labor Rights (Spanish)     All workers in California have specific rights, including minimum wage, rest breaks, lunch periods, and the right to a safe workplace free from discrimination. Also available in English
 
Washington
 
WA Department of Labor and Industries 
Washington's department fo Labor and insurries handles wage claims and other labor related complaints in the state of Washington. Workers in Washington state can get information about their rights at work and about the wage claim process on their website. Also available in Spanish.
 
Arizona  
Arizona Industrial Commision     In Arizona, worker who have questions about their workplace rights and the wage claim claim process can contact the Arizona department of  
 
Federal Government websites:
 
U.S. Department of Labor: Wage and Hour Information     Contains information on minimum wage and basic workplace rights for workers in all industries. Their site is also available in Spanish.  
OSHA  Occupational Health and Safety Administration    OSHA has ressources on health and safety for workers, including information about workers' rights. The site is also available in Spanish.
 
   


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