Features, Finance, Law and Politics, Municipal Government, New York

Workers’ Rights in Turbulent Times

March 31, 2019

By DCA Commissioner Lorelei Salas

2018 was a year of advances and setbacks for workers.

DCA Commissioner Lorelei Salas.

Here in New York City, we made tremendous progress in implementing workplace protections that put money back into the pockets of workers. Laws such as Paid Safe and Sick Leave, Freelance Isn’t Free, and Fair Workweek address the income instability caused by wage theft, unpredictable scheduling, and lack of paid leave.

At the same time, we heard harrowing testimony from workers at our public hearing—which are highlighted in the report we just released. They are coping with an environment that is increasingly hostile to immigrants and low-income workers owing to recent federal policies and increased immigration enforcement. While New York City remains a city that welcomes all, we in City government have difficult hurdles to overcome when misinformation and fear abound in our communities.

That is why I am inspired by the ambitious agenda set by Mayor Bill de Blasio in his 2019 State of the City address. Renaming the Agency to the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) sends a strong signal to working New Yorkers that their well-being is a priority for this administration and for our Agency.

And we are not wasting any time.

From personal paid time to dispute resolution for domestic workers and directed enforcement and fast tracking of retaliation complaints, we are tackling the issues we hear workers facing every day. Together, we can and will create workplace standards that work for the people who need our protection the most—hardworking New Yorkers.

March 31, 2019

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