Workers and Advocates Rally to Stop Wage Theft in the Capitol with Assembly sponsor Linda Rosenthal. Photo Credit: SWEAT NEW YORK
Every year, workers in New York State are cheated out of an estimated $1 Billion that they earn but are not paid. Immigrant workers bear the brunt of this wage-theft, often toiling in low-wage industries where they don’t receive minimum wage or overtime, and sometimes receive no wages at all for days or weeks of work. You can help fight this epidemic.
Earlier this year, the New York State Legislature passed the Securing Wages Earned Against Theft Act (the SWEAT Act). Catholic Migration Services played an integral role in securing thepassage of this bill, which provides critical tools to workers, the NY Department of Labor and the NYS Attorney General in their efforts to recover unpaid wages from their employers. Too often, employers evade accountability by hiding and transferring their assets once they are sued by employees or are under investigation by the government. Workers and the government obtain judgments for millions of dollars that they never collect. The result is that workers don’t get their hard earned wages, and their families suffer the impacts – inability to pay for the essentials of life, and increased reliance on public benefits. The SWEAT Act will make it harder for employers to evade accountability for wage-theft, and reduce wage-theft in New York State.
You can help the SWEAT Act become law. Although both houses of the NY State legislature passed the SWEAT Act in June, it must be signed by Governor Cuomo before it becomes law. Please urge Governor Cuomo to sign the SWEAT Act (Bill No. S2844B) by calling him at (518) 474-8390, or writing to him at: The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor of New York State, New York State Capitol Building, Albany, NY 12247.
For more information about the SWEAT Act, visit http://sweatnys.org/.
The Workers’ Rights Program won a $33,000.00 settlement for a domestic worker in a case brought under the New York State Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights, which guarantees basic workplace protections for domestic workers.
Our client, a Mexican national worked as a nanny and domestic worker for over six years. During that time she suffered significant minimum wage and overtime violations, as well as verbal abuse and sexual harassment at the hands of her employer. Catholic Migration Services litigated the case in Queens County Supreme Court with assistance from co-counsel from LatinoJustice PRLDEF, and reached a settlement shortly before trial in April.
In the words of our client, “I feel very fortunate that I met the lawyers at Catholic Migration Services. They helped me and defended my rights. I am very grateful.” Catholic Migration Services also helped the client obtain a T visa, as a victim of labor trafficking. The visa was approved in September 2017 and will allow her to remain in the United States with work authorization for up to four years, and to apply for permanent residency after three years.
On Thursday, June 13, at the 5th Annual Sunset Reception in Brooklyn, Catholic Migration Services honored Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, recipient of the 2019 Public Service Award for outstanding pro bono work to help New York’s immigrants become U.S. citizens.
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP has offered invaluable support to the naturalization efforts of Catholic Migration Services, providing attorneys, paralegals, volunteers, and interns for naturalization workshops.
“With their support, Catholic Migration Services has been able to significantly increase the amount of Legal Permanent Residents we are able to serve. Last year the naturalization team assisted over 600 LPRs”, said Chloe Moore, Naturalization Coordinator. “Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP has helped field over 700 hotline calls, getting in touch with hotline callers, completing a basic preliminary screening for naturalization, and then scheduling them for intake at the offices in Brooklyn and Queens.”
Thank you for supporting the 5th Annual Sunset Reception. It was a successful event that, like in past years have brought together the New York and Brooklyn law communities to help raise funds to enable Catholic Migration Services to carry out its mission of “welcoming the stranger in our midst.” A great opportunity to mix, mingle, and network with a community dedicated to social justice, we hope you will continue to support our work in underserved immigrant communities in Brooklyn and Queens.
2019 Sunset Reception
2019 Sunset Reception – Fr. Keating and Guests
[Photos: Catholic Foundation of Brooklyn and Queens]
Thank You to Our Diamond Sponsors!
Thank You to Our Gold Sponsors!
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
Cullen and Dykman LLP
Mark & Suzanne Colodny
Thank You to Our Silver Sponsors!
Iannelli Construction Co., Inc.
Thank You to Our Bronze Sponsors!
Cohen, Weiss and Simon LLP
Michael J. Holland, Esq. and Patricia Holland
Levy Ratner, P.C.
Moris Duffy Alonso & Faley
Rosato Firm P.C.
The issue of immigration reform has caught the attention of our country because of the unfortunate practice of separating children from their parents as they approach the border. Some of the people are seeking asylum or a safe haven escaping difficult situations in their home countries, especially violence and oppression. Others come seeking to improve their economic condition fleeing a life of poverty. In his weekly column Put Out Into the Deep, the Most Reverend Bishop DiMarzio revisits the President’s State of the Union address and the four pillars announced as the necessary elements for immigration reform.
Read the full column in The Tablet: The Immigration Conundrum
Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, District Attorney Richard Brown, and the Queens Immigration Task Force held their Annual Immigrant Know Your Rights Week Resource Fair and Legal Clinic on Thursday, June 28th at Queens Center Mall. Over 30 organizations and agencies participated in the resource fair and connected Queens immigrants with information for city services, nonprofit organizations and advocacy groups. A free legal clinic provided confidential consultations in areas of immigration, housing, employment, and domestic violence. Attorneys from Catholic Migration Services were available for legal consultations and an outreach team informed New Yorkers about the organization’s legal services.
Queens residents stop by the Immigrant Resource Fair for a chance to learn about new services, organizations, and agencies.
Queens immigrants chat with the outreach team of Catholic Migration Services to learn about the legal services and know your rights education available through the organization.
Queens Borough President Melinda Katz’s Immigration Task Force is organizing a series of free informational “Know Your Rights” workshops and confidential legal clinics for immigrants from June 25 to June 29 and Catholic Migration Services has partnered with with the Borough President to bring these much needed services to the community. Taking part in a resource fair and one-on-one consultations, immigrants are encouraged to attend, seek resources and legal advice on immigration, housing and workers’ rights.
Read the full article via the Times Ledger: Katz announces inaugural Know Your Rights Week campaign