US labor officials vow to protect workers’ wages regardless of immigration status
AURORA, Colorado – Federal labor officials promised to make sure that all workers are paid properly and for all the hours they worked, regardless of immigration status, at an agreement signing ceremony with Philippine consular officials based in San Francisco.
Deputy Consul General Jaime Ramon Ascalon and Wage and Hour Division Denver District Director Charles Frasier reiterated the pledge during the signing ceremony for an Alliance Arrangement and Understanding between the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco and the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division’s Southwest Regional Office in Aurora, Colorado on September 5.
“We look forward to working the Philippine Consulate and the Filipino Community in Colorado, in reaching out to all Filipinos in the area and educate them about their labor rights. We can also assist them in investigating possible violations by their employers, while protecting their identity,” Frasier added.
The signing ceremony was held on the sidelines of the Consulate on Wheels outreach mission at the Crosswinds Church in Aurora, Colorado. Witnessing the ceremony were members of the Filipino community led by Giselle Rushford, Executive Director of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA), Donna Lavigne, former Regional Chair of NaFFAA, and Ric Doguiles, Lead Pastor of the Crosswind Church.
The Alliance Arrangement establishes a collaborative relationship to provide Philippine nationals in Colorado, Montana, Utah and Wyoming, with information, guidance and access to education and training resources to help them exercise their workplace rights, particularly with regard to reducing violations of minimum wage, overtime, record-keeping, child labor, safe housing and transportation provisions of the laws and regulations administered and enforced by Wage and Hour Division.
It also seeks to help Filipino nationals understand the rights of workers and responsibilities of employers under the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act and the various employment programs under the Immigration and Nationality Act over which the Wage and Hour Division has enforcement authority.
As leaders of the Filipino community, Rushford and Lavigne said they would assist the DOL-WHD organize training and information sessions on this important issue. Doguiles offered the Crosswind Community Center as a venue for said sessions.
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