Posted on May 13, 2024

Lawmakers Eye Fines for Businesses That Coerce Workers Over Immigration Status

Sophie Nieto-Munoz, New Jersey Monitor, May 9, 2024

Immigrant workers are more reluctant to speak out about injustice in the workplace, report injuries, or cooperate in investigations out of fear of revealing their immigration status to authorities.

Now, a new bill would allow the state to levy hefty fines against employers threatening to use their workers’ immigration status against them during labor disputes. {snip}

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Businesses found to have exploited their workers based on their immigration status would face fines of up to $1,000 for the first violation, up to $5,000 for the second, and up to $10,000 for any subsequent violations.

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But the bill is not enough for immigrant advocates who want to see more enforcement of existing laws and more serious consequences. Erik Cruz Morales of the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice said the bill is only a small first step toward tackling a bigger issue.

Morales said New Jersey should consider revoking business licenses from companies with multiple labor law violations. {snip}

Lawmakers should also look into beefing up the Law Against Discrimination to cover discrimination against immigration status, Morales said.

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