On Tuesday, November 22, 2022, Catholic Migration Services joined Councilmember Shekar Krishan, advocates at NICE: New Immigrant Community Empowerment, Make the Road New York, TakeRoot Justice and allies during a press conference in front of the City Hall steps to celebrate continuing funding for a crucial initiative for defending the rights of low-wage workers. Advocates, workers, and Council Members urged that the program, the Low-Wage Worker Support (LWWS), be baselined in the upcoming budget.
In Fiscal Year 2022, through this vital program, legal service providers and community organizations advised and represented workers in over 2,300 cases to recoup unpaid wages and obtained more than $3 million in settlements and judgments for workers.
LWWS is the only dedicated city funding stream to provide free employment-related legal services to low-wage workers across NYC. Through LWWS, workers are connected to advocacy and able to access individualized legal advice and full legal representation in a range of proceedings, including pre-litigation settlement negotiations, unemployment insurance hearings, and individual and group cases before state and federal courts and administrative agencies.
Every year, more than $1 billion in wages are stolen from low-wage workers in New York City.
At the press conference, directly impacted workers shared their personal stories facing stolen wages, unsafe working conditions, and workplace rights’ violations.