A measure meant to tighten anti-discrimination provisions against immigrants in the workplace by blocking employers from threatening to call immigration enforcement authorities was signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo over the weekend.
The new law changes the existing labor law to add to the state’s anti-discrimination statutes to include threats or punishment against an employee to include contracting immigration enforcement authorities. The measure also extends threats or retaliation of calling authorities to a worker’s family or household member.
The measure in large part codifies federal judicial rulings that have interpreted threats by employers to call immigration authorities an example of retaliation against an employee.
“Immigrants have long faced’ disproportionate levels of exploitation and abuse in the workplace,” the legislation’s sponsor’s memo states. “For years, studies have consistently shown that immigrants are more likely to be victims of wage theft, sexual harassment, misclassification and workplace safety violations than American-born citizens.”
The measure was sponsored by Sen. Jessica Ramos of Queens and Assemblyman Marcos Crespo of the Bronx.