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During A Decline In Job Quality, Latinos Face The Highest Degree Of Inequities.

A recent NCLR's report demonstrates that Hispanic Americans have the highest rate of preventable, yet fatal injuries in the workplace; and, this is only one, of several indicators of neglect for basic worker protections.

The NCLR also found that many Latinos never receive any pay for the work already performed. They are misclassified as independent contractors so they are not compensated for their workplace injuries or properly trained to prevent the injuries from occurring in the first place. These violations typically occur in low-wage job industries such as production, food preparation and service, construction, farming, and maintenance, and one in five of these workers is Latino.

As this report indicates, more must be done to hold employers accountable for trying to circumvent the system and avoid compliance with the law. While it is true the Department of Labor - Wage and Hour Division, should be funded to increase their number of investigators for enforcement purposes, they should also increase their number of solicitors to litigate these cases, and/or implement a referral mechanism to provide workers with knowledge of a 'private' right of action when the agency cannot actively pursue such cases.

Finally, educating workers about their rights in the workplace is absolutely essential. Unless people are aware of their rights, the violations will perpetually exist. For employers, compliance with the law should not be optional.

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