For Immediate Release
Wednesday, February 22, 2023
Media Contact: Erik Villalobos, email@example.com
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Releases FAQ Regarding New DHS Deferred Action Policy for Migrant Workers
Workers and Advocates uplift guidance on how to request EEOC support for immigration protections
(Nationwide) The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has released a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page to their website, which offers guidance for immigrant workers and advocates requesting agency support to seek deferred action protections.
This news comes just over a month after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced Public Guidance on how to access enhanced protections providing immigration protections through deferred action for migrant workers who are victims of, or witnesses to, and report labor abuses or workers rights violations.
The EEOC guidance accompanies parallel guidance published by the National Labor Relations Board and the Department of Labor last year.
“This is a step in the right direction for the EEOC and for immigrant workers everywhere looking to report discrimination and sexual harassment without fear of employer retaliation. We now expect EEOC to work diligently with immigrant communities and their allies to identify industries rife with abuse and ensure workers know they have a safe haven to report labor violations. There is a lot of work to be done to remove fear and rebuild trust between immigrant workers and the EEOC, and deferred action for labor enforcement, DALE, will be essential to any strategic agency plan ahead,” said Cal Soto, Director of Workers’ Rights for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON).
Members of the DALE campaign, which is made up of immigrant workers and representatives of labor rights organizations who have long advocated towards protections for migrant workers denouncing labor abuse, welcomed the new FAQ in the following statements:
“We are heartened by this announcement, and hope it means that our families won’t be targeted further as retaliation for reporting labor abuse. We needed these protections in 2019 in Mississippi, when our community was devastated by ICE raids when workers did speak up. Although abuses continue in the poultry plants, workers have begun to rise up and lift up their voices. To continue to strengthen the voices of a community that has been constantly erased, we call on the EEOC to work with us to heal the harm caused by the raids, provide support to protect workers in our community, and hold abusive poultry plant employers accountable,” said Lorena Quiroz, Director of the Immigrant Alliance for Justice and Equity (IAJE).
“Sometimes as a worker you feel like you just can’t win against the employer, you feel you have to put up with the abuse, verbal abuses, and mistreatment. But we have rights, all of us. People of all races and genders, as a worker you have rights, and you deserve respect and dignity. This policy recognizes that we as immigrant workers play an essential role in the workforce, and we should not have to remain silent in the face of discrimination, or allow the abuses against us to continue.” commented Norma Gomez, worker leader at Arriba Las Vegas Worker Center, who recently filed charges over workplace discrimination.
“Addressing the unjust treatment of workers in the poultry industry is long overdue. With the EEOC taking a stand against discriminatory practices in these plants through statements of support. We hope to see the EEOC take a stand by issuing letters of government interest so workers feel safer reporting abuses. We have an opportunity to bring about lasting change and ensure that all workers are treated with dignity and respect,” said Maria del Rosario Palacios, Executive Director of Georgia Familias Unidas.