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Protecting the Labor and Employment Rights of Immigrant Workers

By Rebecca Smith, Cynthia Mark & Anita Sinha

Labor protection laws are especially important for immigrants who are concentrated in the low-wage market, often in the most dangerous jobs. Immigrants face particular obstacles in enforcing their rights under laws such as the National Labor Relations Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act, and undocumented workers are even more vulnerable than others to intimidation and retaliation by employers. The U.S. Supreme Court decision in Hoffman Plastic Compounds Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board exacerbated barriers to employemnt rights for immigrants, but much opportunity remains for advocates to ensure that immigrant workers receive the full scope of the protection rights to which they are entitled.

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