Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has signed an agreement for Atlanta to join the Employment, Education, and Outreach (EMPLEO) coalition, the City of Atlanta announced today.
According to the city’s press release, the coalition is an initiative of the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour division helping recent immigrants unfamiliar with their workplace rights and responsibilities in the U.S.
Welcoming Atlanta, an initiative of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, helped establish the partnership with EMPLEO as part of its public safety and economic power programs, the release said.
The partnership will help protect Spanish-speaking members of the workforce, as well as employers, from illegal work practices that put them in unfair and unsafe situations.
“One of our city’s greatest strengths is found in our diversity. It is in that spirit that I am honored to announce Atlanta’s participation in the EMPLEO program,” Bottoms said. “We believe that a government that works for everyone is a government at its best, particularly when informing residents of critical guaranteed workplace rights. In a time when certain segments of our society are targeted for their country of origin or nationality, Atlanta must send a strong signal to all its residents that they indeed have a seat at the table.”
Started in California in 2004, EMPLEO works with a variety of local, state, federal and non-governmental groups to assist Spanish-speaking workers and employers through a toll-free phone hotline, according to the release.
Overtime pay, minimum wage, discrimination, meals/breaks, and family medical leave are some of the top issues faced by Spanish-speaking employees.
“Workplace labor violations are one of the most common infractions reported by our Spanish-speaking workforce,” Michelle Maziar, director of the Welcoming Atlanta initiative, said. “By joining the coalition, the City of Atlanta can continue to inform and protect all members of our workforce and ensure that language is not a barrier to accessing justice.”
For more information, please visit the Welcoming Atlanta website or call 311.