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Know Your Rights
Source: Make the Road New York
Subject: Profiles of MRNY
Type: Pubs & Reports

IN THE NEWS 2010: January-March Digest


In March, MRNY organized 2,100 members—the largest
delegation from New York City—to travel to Washington DC for a march for
immigration reform that drew over 200,000 people
. The march recaptured the
attention of President Obama, who vowed in a video address to harness
bipartisan support and make immigration reform a reality during his term.

Among those who
would benefit from reform are hundreds of 9/11 clean-up workers, who, as a
result of their heroic but dangerous work at Ground Zero, now suffer from
diseases ranging from respiratory illnesses to cancer. Many of the workers are
undocumented and concurrently have received no compensation or care for their
service. MRNY helped them file lawsuits and
is organizing to win legal status for all undocumented 9/11 workers who risked
their health for their city.

MRNY drafted the landmark Wage Theft Prevention Act and
helped introduce the bill in the New York State Senate in March. Reports of
noncompliance with labor laws are on the rise, but many workers still hesitate
to come forward for fear of retaliation by their employers. The new legislation would penalize
employers who do not pay minimum wage or overtime as mandated by law, and would
increase the State’s tax coffers
by compelling offending employers to pay
required income taxes, unemployment insurance taxes and workers’ compensation

MRNY also released a report documenting widespread discrimination
against transgender job applicants
at retail outlets throughout the city.MRNY organized protests against the worst
offender, J. Crew, and filed a complaint
that prompted the NYS Attorney General to take legal action against two major
retail chains.
These high-profile actions received attention from diverse
sources, including legal, business and fashion media.

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