WASHINGTON – Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Security and Wellness Doug Parker hosted workers, advocates and worker organization leaders nowadays for a discussion on the agency’s new authority to situation certifications in assistance of applications for U nonimmigrant status and T nonimmigrant status visas. The agency also launched a new U and T Visa Certifications webpage.
Workers may perhaps worry retaliation for speaking up about unsafe operating situations, specially if they lack citizenship status or legal employment authorization, or if they have a perform visa that is tied to their particular employer. “U Visas” and “T Visas” permit victims of particular crimes to support law enforcement detect, investigate and prosecute crimes devoid of worry of retaliation primarily based on their immigration status.
“The Occupational Security and Wellness Administration’s prime priority is to assure workers are protected and can exercising their rights, regardless of their demographic or immigration status,” mentioned Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Security and Wellness Doug Parker. “A crucial element of that mission is expanding our perform to combat workplace inequities that can develop hazards and influence vulnerable workers who are most likely to be exploited or victims of crimes. Our vision extends beyond setting requirements, inspecting workplaces and giving instruction. Becoming a visa certifying agency provides us one particular a lot more tool in our wide-ranging work to much better shield workers and their rights on the job.”
The department’s Wage and Hour Division has supplied U and T visa certifications for more than a decade. For the 1st time, OSHA can now also situation these visa certifications – in connection with its enforcement perform – when the agency detects trafficking or other qualifying criminal activities, such as murder, manslaughter, blackmail, extortion, felonious assault, involuntary servitude, peonage, obstruction of justice, witness tampering or perjury.
OSHA also has the potential to situation visa certifications if the agency detects the try, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of the identified qualifying criminal activities. Though OSHA has the authority to situation U and T visa certifications, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Solutions determines irrespective of whether an applicant qualifies for the visa.
This initiative aligns with the department’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility strategy and the Biden-Harris administration’s effort to advance racial equity and assistance for underserved communities across the federal government and enhance job top quality nationwide.
Watch the kickoff occasion on the department’s YouTube web page.
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