Protecting the Employment Rights and Remedies of Washington’s Immigrant Workers

Image by CGPGrey on Flickr- CC BY
The website is provided for proper attribution. Gonzaga Law Review and Gonzaga do not endorse any linked websites.

Immigrant workers perform some of the most grueling and dangerous work Washington State has to offer—primarily in the construction and agriculture industries. In Washington, these occupations disproportionately generate workplace injuries and fatalities. On top of these risks, wages for many immigrant workers hover at or below poverty levels, with average annual earnings in Washington’s agricultural industry of $17,000 per year. Immigrant workers also experience minimum wage and overtime violations at higher rates than other workers.

In light of these realities, immigrant workers need effective access to, and protection by, Washington courts. Instead, immigrant workers face hurdles to the justice system, including intrusive questioning and intimidation, which threaten to prevent them from asserting employment rights. And while many courts have made significant progress recognizing and protecting immigrant workers, there must be broader awareness of the need for these protections. When courts protect the ability of immigrant workers to obtain appropriate remedies, all workers benefit and the justice system moves closer to the goal of equal justice for all. This article discusses the barriers immigrant workers face in seeking justice in the courts, the developing law related to these challenges, and approaches that will enhance justice for all.

Read More

Daniel Ford, Lori Jordan Isley, Richard W. Kuhling, & Joachim Morrison,  Protecting the Employment Rights and Remedies of Washington’s Immigrant Workers, 48 Gonz. L. Rev. 539 (2013). 

About dkazemba

David Kazemba J.D. Candidate 2014

Leave a Reply

Please use your real name instead of you company name or keyword spam.