We are honored when clients entrust their cases of to us, because their cases are typically of great personal importance to us. We seek to fulfill our client’s trust by offering a warm, confidential, and non-judgmental space where our clients can talk openly and honestly with us, by promptly responding to client requests, and by providing top-notch representation in court.
As far back as 1896, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that:
“The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution is not confined to the protection of citizens. It says: ’Nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the law.’ These provisions are universal in their application to all persons within the territorial jurisdiction, without regard to any differences of race, of color, or nationality; and the equal protection of the laws is a pledge of the protection of equal laws.” 2
All persons in the U.S., therefore, have constitutional rights. Among these are the right to equal protection of the law and the right to due process.
Also, undocumented persons have a constitutional right under the Fourth Amendment to deny any officer from entering their residence without consent, absent a search warrant.
Further, the Supreme Court has held that all children, regardless of their immigration status, are entitled to free public education, as required under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. 3
Additionally, under federal law publicly funded hospitals must provide emergency medical services to all patients, regardless of their immigration status. 4 Immigrants are also protected from workplace discrimination under state and federal laws.
Moreover, under federal law, a person may recover money damages for loss of property, personal injury or death where damages occurred as a result of the “negligent or wrongful act or omission of any employee of the Government while acting within the scope of his office or employment, under circumstances where the United States, if a private person, would be liable to the claimant in accordance with the law of the place where the act or omission occurred.” 5
These are just a few of the rights that our Constitution and federal laws grant to all persons living in the U.S. These rights are intended to protect all U.S. residents from discrimination and arbitrary government action. These rights are especially critical in times where hatred based on race, color, and national origin is on the rise.
By law, employers must take all steps necessary to provide a safe workplace for their employees.
To be fair, most companies do take this responsibility seriously. To protect their workers, good businesses make sure all machinery is regularly checked and serviced, that staff are properly trained in its use and are told of any dangers in the workplace, even if they seem obvious. Something that is obvious to an experienced person might not be to a new worker or apprentice.
Even simple acts like putting warning cones around water spills or marking sharp edged shelving can save a lot of pain and time off work. If you see anything that you think may cause injury to yourself or a fellow worker, you should let your supervisor know immediately.
There’s a whole industry built on preventing accidents in work places, and however much some people may jeer at the “elf and safety” brigade, the truth is they make the world a safer place. Which is good.
However, often, even in the best-run businesses, things can go wrong. If you have been injured at work then you could be eligible for compensation.
It’s important that, if you are injured, you make a claim. This isn’t just to compensate you for your injury, but also to make sure the cause of the accident is noted and fixed. This will guarantee that there is no repeat of the accident and that the risk of further injury is removed.
If you are injured you may not know what to do next. You may be worried about being treated badly or even being sacked by your boss if you do make an accident claim.
This can’t happen. It is illegal for an employer to act in such a way, and you could take further action against him if he does. It would be considered as ‘workplace discrimination’ or ‘unfair dismissal’.
There are many types of workplace injuries that can result in compensation claims. Often these claims come from people working in a factory, restaurant, office or shop but the laws apply to equally anyone injured while working. For example, if your job involves driving a car, bus, tractor or truck and it hasn’t been properly maintained, your employer may be liable for any accident or injury that happens as a result.
Your employer is legally required to report accidents that result in death, serious injury, dangerous incidents, or that result in more than five days off work to the Health and Safety Department of your Local Authority. If you do suffer any injuries it’s important that you make sure this has been done.
All work related injuries, whether serious or minor, must be recorded in your employer’s ‘Accident Book’, which every company (except really small ones) must keep.
Following an accident you have up to three years to make a compensation claim. You will usually need a lawyer, ideally one who specialises in worker’s injury claims, to represent you.
These are the steps you take if you are injured at work: 1. Make sure the accident was entered into the ‘Accident Book’. 2. Make sure the injury was reported to the appropriate authority. 3. Check your employment contract or agreement. 4. Try to resolve any dispute with your employer before taking any other action. 5. Even injuries that don’t appear immediately to be serious should be examined by your doctor so details can be kept for future action, if necessary.
And don’t forget you have up to three years to consult a lawyer and to seek compensation. After that it might be too late.
Apparel Industry Workers
Minimum Wage: As an employee of a garment shop you must be paid at least the federal minimum wage for all hours worked, regardless of whether you are paid hourly or at piece rate. Normally time spent in training and doing repair work should be paid. Some state laws provide greater employee protections; employers must comply with both.
Overtime: The law requires that normally you be paid 1 1/2 times your regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek, even if you are paid at piece rates.
Homework: Work on garments at home is normally prohibited.
Records: Records should be kept of all wages paid and all hours worked regardless where the work is performed.
Child Labor: 16 years old is the minimum age to perform garment production.