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.
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
-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
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:
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
Division of Workers'
Information for workers who are injured on the job in California
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
available in English
WA Department of Labor and
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
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.