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Workers Roused to Seek Wage Rights

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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-05-10 07:25 PM
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Workers Roused to Seek Wage Rights

APRIL 6, 2010


The Labor Department is encouraging low-wage and immigrant workers to turn in employers who are shortchanging their pay, as part of an expanding effort to enforce wage and hour rules.

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis launched a campaign last week called "We Can Help," asking workers in industries from construction to food services to notify the agency of suspected wage and hour violations.

Associated Press

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis unveils mural of Cesar Chavez last week.

The agency is also relying on tips from worker advocacy groups, widening efforts by the Obama administration to enlist activist groups to help with enforcement in a range of sectors from toy safety to distracted driving.

However, business groups are expressing concern that the Labor Department's effort will generate unfounded complaints.

Ms. Solis, a Hispanic-American, has signaled from early in her tenure that stepping up enforcement of wage and hour rules would be a high priority. The Labor Department's wage and hour division recently hired more than 250 additional investigatorsan increase of one thirdand is rolling out a publicity campaign that includes bilingual public-service announcements in Spanish and English.

The ads feature activists like Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers of America, and actor Jimmy Smits, who has Puerto Rican roots and played a successful Hispanic presidential candidate in the TV drama "The West Wing."

FULL story at link.

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