Commission's Quarterly Newsletter
2003 Spring Edition
Immigrant Employment Rights
Gatling, along with a sign language interpreter, addresses leaders
of immigrant advocacy organizations.
Employment Rights Program educates the City's various immigrant
communities on the Federal and City protections afforded under
the Immigration and Reform Control Act of 1986 and the NYC Human
Rights Law. As part of this program, Commissioner Patricia L.
Gatling, along with CCHR's partner, NY Immigration Coalition led
by Executive Director Margie McHugh, recently sponsored a forum
on immigrant employment rights. Leaders from immigrant organizations
and advocacy groups who attended the event are already bringing
the information back to their groups.
The event featured Robin Stutman, Special Litigation Counsel,
Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment
Practices, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice,
who discussed various types of immigration-related employment
discrimination, Federal anti-discrimination laws, and the process
of filing a Federal charge.
Also speaking was Terri Gerstein, Assistant New York State Attorney
General, who outlined her office's efforts in the enforcement of immigrant
workers' rights, including the creation of the Greengrocer Code of
Conduct, bringing the greengrocer industry into compliance with minimum
wage and overtime laws.
Commissioner Gatling attributes the program's success to a strong
partnership with the Coalition and the 120 local immigrant organizations
they represent and the outstanding efforts of the program staff. Additionally,
vigorous outreach into these communities with extensive media coverage
in the ethnic and community press have informed immigrants and employers
of discrimination laws.
The Commission and the Coalition have already provided over 50 workshops
throughout the City in English, Spanish, Chinese, Creole and Russian
since the program kicked off late last year. The classes include informal
discussions, literature and PowerPoint presentations on discrimination
in employment based on national origin, citizenship status or alienage.
Working under a U.S. Department of Justice grant, CCHR plans to expand
the Immigrant Employment Rights Program with additional languages,
media outlets and communities.