Posted on August 25, 2010

Salt Lake City Mayor Fighting to Protect Workplace Rights of Immigrants, Refugees

Derek P. Jensen, Salt Lake Tribune, August 21, 2010

Looking to maintain fairness in employment, particularly among Salt Lake City’s immigrant and refugee communities, Mayor Ralph Becker has launched an anti-discrimination campaign on workplace rights.

For this summer’s first phase, the city has scheduled training and information sessions to outline employment law on the city, state and federal levels. This fall, phase two will highlight the responsibilities and rights of employers.


“Salt Lake City is a progressive and diverse community where every individual is valued,” Becker said in a statement. “The anti-discrimination campaign demonstrates our determination to foster an environment of good will and a community that ensures a fair and safe workplace.”


Francisco-Nez [Mayor’s Office of Diversity and Human Rights] notes there are 25,000 refugees in the city and Salt Lake County. The goal is to reach 400 people over the course of three public workshops, the first of which is slated for Tuesday.

For the past 15 months, a committee has labored to develop a sensitive curriculum that considers the dynamics of the refugee and immigrant communities. Two known topics will focus on safety and minimum-wage requirements. Organizers expect the Spanish presentation scheduled for Oct. 5 at Centro Civico Mexicano to be the best attended.


The effort–an outgrowth of the city’s anti-discrimination ordinance protecting gay and transgender residents from housing and employment bias–is a collaboration of the Mayor’s Office of Diversity and Human Rights, the Utah Workers Compensation Fund, the Utah Labor Commission and ACLU of Utah. Campaign partners include the Utah Latin American Chamber of Commerce, Salt Lake City Human Rights Commission, Society for Human Resources Management, Utah Office of Ethnic Affairs, United Way and the Utah Minority Bar Association.


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