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Resource - U Visas for Victims of Workplace Crime: A Practice Manual

The National Employment Law Project announced in May, 2014, its publication U Visas for Victims of Workplace Crime: A Practice Manual. This manual will assist those who work to protect low-wage immigrant workers. Click here to download the practice manual (free).  Click here for a list of other NELP publications.  The 190-page manual covers:

  •  U visa basics: overview of statutory requirements and application process
  • legal analysis and examples of qualifying criminal activity in the workplace
  • obtaining certification from labor and civil rights agencies, including the U.S. DOL, EEOC, NLRB, and state departments of labor
  • special considerations, including establishing substantial physical or mental abuse for victims of workplace crime
  • a comprehensive appendix, including: fact sheets, sample intake forms, labor agency certification protocol, sample requests for certification, model U visa applications, declarations, motions for judicial certification, advocacy letters, and more.

Resource - Temporary Worker VISA info

The Global Workers Justice Alliance has created an excellent resource on temporary foreign worker visas for advocates working directly with clients and on policy issues.  Click here for the VISA RESOURCE webpages.  Each VISA page goes into the history, hiring process, data, worker protections, if any, enforcement mechanisms, if any, and of course, the challenges in seeking portable justice for migrant workers. There are links to charts, graphics, documents, and news reports throughout. There are also places within each page where you can dig deeper into case examples and regulatory nuances. The goal is for advocates, lawmakers, scholars, teachers and the media to access in-depth information on these critical visas in one convenient place.  Most of the sources for data are government agencies. Which government agencies are involved in collecting and publishing data, and when the data is published depends on the particular visa program.  Because the page content was drafted over the course of several years, and various data is continually being released, the data on some pages are more current than others. GWJA plans to update the data during Fall 2014.  You can also read about how the landscape of American employment is dramatically altered by an expanding system of guestworker visas issued to hundreds of thousands of foreign workers, in the GWJA May, 2012, report Visas, Inc: Corporate Control and Policy Incoherence in the U.S. Temporary Foreign Labor System .  The report provides a comprehensive analysis of the many visas that employers use and misuse to bring foreign workers into the U.S. in every field, from low-wage jobs in agriculture and domestic work, to specialty occupations in health care, education or information technology.  Click here for the full report.  Click here for the Executive Summary of the report. 

Recent federal case denies discovery into immigration status in FLSA matter and reaffirms right to FLSA damages

Federal Judge J. Paul Oetken, SDNY, denied discovery into immigration status, reaffirmed the principle that undocumented workers are entitled to FLSA damages, and approved 216(b) notice language ("Federal law also permits you to join in this lawsuit and share in any recovery regardless of your immigration status. You will not be asked to disclose whether you are a citizen or have a green card in order to participate in this collective action.").   Click here for slip opinion in Colon v Major Perry Street Corp 12/19/2013Click here for WestLaw version.

Worker Advocates Prevail in Critical Litigation on behalf of H-2B Workers 

Federal Judge Tosses Department of Labor Wage Rate Calculation. A federal judge has ordered the U.S. Department of Labor to stop calculating the prevailing wage for guest workers using a method that another federal judge ruled to be invalid over two years ago. Click here for the March 25, 2013 story in The Legal Intelligencer.  Click here for more information about the case prepared by Art Read, Friends of Farmworkers.

Recently Released Regulations Create Protections for Guest Workers, Level Playing Field for U.S. Workers

Click here for more information from the Department of Labor website. Click here for more information from the National Immigration Law Center [NILC] website and click here for a copy of a recent NILC email on this issue.

Primer: Employment Verification for Immigrants with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Documentation Employers May Accept and Temporary Protected Status Beneficiaries May Present as Evidence of Employment Eligibility

Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is an immigration benefit granted by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to eligible individuals.  Those with TPS must follow particular guidelines regarding employment status as must their employers.  The primer linked above has been posted to the web by the Department of Homeland Security U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  It explains TPS and provides guidance to employees and employers regarding the employment verification process for those with TPS.  Finally, it provides USCIS contact information for those seeking additional information or assistance.


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GET THE NLG Labor & Employment Committee manual!!!IMMIGRANT WORKERS RIGHTS: Resources for Labor & Employment Attorneys

Designed to be used by lawyers, union representatives and workers.  This is not a manual for immigration attorneys nor does it focus on how to handle immigration cases.  The purpose of this manual is to provide a basic overview of immigration law for practitioners who may be representing a plaintiff or witness who has concerns about his or her immigration status.

 The NLG L&EC Project on Immigrant Workers' Rights
The National Lawyers Guild is currently fighting on a variety of fronts, including a growing anti-immigrant sentiment.  The L&EC recognizes immigrant workers are the fastest growing segment of the workforce and the backbone of recent successful organizing efforts among low-wage workers.  Of these workers, some six million are undocumented, subjecting them to additional hardships if fired during a union organizing drive or subjected to other forms of workplace discrimination or retaliation.

Although documented and undocumented workers are protected by federal labor law, the recent US Supreme Court decision in Hoffman Plastic Compounds, Inc., v. NLRB and subsequent federal and state court decisions interpreting Hoffman have changed the landscape regarding immigrant workers' labor and employment rights.  Remedies previously available to undocumented workers are being constantly challenged by corporate lawyers.  In addition, employers increasingly rely on Social Security No Match Letters to undermine unions and destroy union organizing drives.
The Guild Labor & Employment Committee developed materials to aid labor and employment attorneys, the union movement and individual workers.  The materials outline labor and employment rights of immigrant workers to be used by lawyers, union representatives and workers to defend these rights.

This materials are the product of a collaboration among the NLG Labor & Employment Committee, the National Immigration Law Center [NILC] and the AFL-CIO.  We particularly would like to thank Anita Sinha (anitasinha11@gmail.com) and Marielena Hincapié (hincapie@nilc.org) of NILC and Ana Avendaño (aavendan@aflcio.org) of the AFL-CIO's General Counsel's office for drafting these materials.  Special thanks as well to the attorneys who helped by contributing materials they previously developed and who reviewed these materials.
These materials are designed for lawyers and legal workers, including union representatives.   The last three sections contain materials designed specifically for immigrant workers that unions can use when organizing or training immigrant workers.


Updates are available on the NILC website.  We welcome your comments, suggestions and additions to these materials.   The Labor & Employment Committee can provide training for lawyers and union representatives on how to use this material effectively, train the trainer programs for lawyers so they may train others, and train the trainer program for union representatives so they may present the material to stewards or immigrant workers directly.  If you are interested in a program, hosting, or participating as a panelist, please contact one of us. TO ORDER A MANUAL  The Immigrant Workers' Rights - A Resource Manual is available for purchase for $35.  To pay send a check or pay online (using the button below).  Make checks payable to the NLG L&EC.  Download the order form and email, fax to (510) 835-4913, or mail it along with your check c/o Fran Schreiberg, Kazan McClain et al, 55 Harrison Street #400, Oakland, CA 94607.  

Resources for Labor & Employment Attorneys

  • Table of Contents 
  • AFL-CIO New Resources for Low-Wage, Immigrant Advocates
  • Materials the L&EC has compiled related to Immigration issues.
  • Updates for the manual