The program seeks to educate workers on their rights and responsibilities as well as provide an avenue for non-English speakers to report violations of laws enforced by the OSHA, the DOL's Wage and Hour Division, and the DOL Office of Federal Contract Compliance.
"The administration is committed to protecting the well being of the over 14.5 million Hispanic workers in our country," U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao said.
A telephone line will be dedicated to receive inquiries from the public and channel those calls to the appropriate federal or state agency. OSHA, Wage and Hour Division and OFCCP will conduct training sessions and provide assistance to the Mexican Consulate in Dallas with the tools necessary to refer complaints to appropriate DOL agencies.
The Houston Justice and Equality in the Workplace Program, which was created in July 2001, has already aided the Wage and Hour Division to recover over $1.3 million in back wages for 1,900 workers as the result of investigations initiated by referrals from the partnership. OSHA, with the help of the Justice and Equality in the Workplace Program, will disseminate health and safety information, compliance assistance information and enforcement of health and safety laws. Nearly 70 percent of all calls at the Houston program were referred to the Department of Labor.