US Department of Labor joins Philippine consulates to promote workplace
protections, rights for Filipino workers
OSHA, Wage and Hour Division sign agreements at San Francisco consulate
SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Wage and Hour Division today forged a partnership with four Consulate Generals of the Philippines to promote educational, training and outreach opportunities on workplace safety and health and pay rules for Filipino workers in Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Nevada, American Samoa and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
"Workers have the right to safe and healthful jobs, and to know and understand their rights in the workplace," said Ken Nishiyama Atha, OSHA's regional administrator in San Francisco. "This is a tremendous opportunity to work with the consulates and community groups. We can reach out to these workers and provide information that will enhance the quality of the workplace and their work lives."
OSHA and the consulate will develop information focused on promoting workers' understanding of their rights in the workplace and the responsibilities of employers under the Occupational and Safety Health Act. The agreement calls for them to support each other's outreach and events for workers and employers, including mobile consular activities.
An agreement with the department's Wage and Hour Division will help to combine resources and coordinate efforts to inform workers and employers about the laws enforced by the division. Those laws include the Fair Labor Standards Act and its child labor, minimum wage and overtime provisions, the H-1B immigrant worker program, the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, and the temporary, nonimmigrant agricultural guest-worker H-2A program under the Immigration and Nationality Act.
"This is a remarkable opening to promote compliance with wage and hour laws," said Susana Blanco, director of the Wage and Hour Division's San Francisco District Office. "Workers will be educated on their workplace rights under U.S. laws and know how to get help with pay and other concerns, especially when they feel they've been exploited."
Atha and Blanco represented their respective agencies at the signing, where they were joined by the Consul General in San Francisco, Marciano A. Paynor Jr.; Consul General in Agana, Guam, Bayani V. Mangibin; Consul General in Honolulu, Julius D. Torres; and Consul General in Los Angeles, Maria Hellen M. Barber-de la Vega.
Through its alliance program, OSHA works with consulates, unions, trade and professional organizations, faith and community-based organizations, and businesses and educational institutions to prevent workplace fatalities, injuries and illnesses. The purpose of each alliance is to develop compliance assistance tools and resources and to educate workers and employers about their rights and responsibilities. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov/dcsp/alliances/index.html.
The purpose of each agreement is to develop compliance assistance tools and resources and to educate workers and employers about their rights and responsibilities. For more information on activities of both agencies under the Consular Partnership Program and Labor Rights Week 2013, please visit http://www.dol.gov/dol/LaborRightsWeek.htm.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
The Wage and Hour Division offers additional information through its toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or its San Francisco District Office at 415-625-7720. Information also is available at http://www.dol.gov/whd. Assistance and materials are available from both agencies in Tagalog.
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille or CD from the COAST office upon request by calling 292-693-7828 or TTY 292-693-7755.
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