Monday, July 17, 2006

Workplace rights are strengthened in Nashville Hispanic Chamber forums

The Tennessean reports in this article that the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce* continues to convene discussions on the legal rights and responsibilities of Hispanic employees and employers.

"The chamber has been holding a series of forums aimed at educating Hispanic business owners and their employees of the legal rights guaranteed to both. The forums tackle several topics - from discrimination to wage-and-hour laws."

"Amber Gooding, executive director of the Tennessee Human Rights Commission, said the forum and other meetings like it help immigrant workers stand up for themselves."

Although not all Hispanics are immigrants, the participants in these forums include immigrants - both employers and employees. A report issued by the Drum Major Institute concluded that employment rights are a vital part of immigration reform:

When immigrants lack rights in the workplace, labor standards are driven down, and all working people have less opportunity to enter or remain part of the middle class. So a pro-middle-class immigration policy must guarantee immigrants full labor rights and make sure that employers cannot use deportation as a coercive tool in the labor market.

(from Principles for an Immigration Policy to Strengthen and Expand the American Middle Class: A Primer for Policymakers and Advocates)

*Hispanic Chamber 101: There are three Hispanic chambers of commerce in Middle Tennessee: the Franklin Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the Tennessee Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The Tennessean profiled all three chambers in this article in June 2006.

Focus: Business, Chamber, Justice

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