Last updated JUNE 2011 | Download
Protect Our Workers from Exploitation and Retaliation Act
On June 14, 2011, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Reps. George Miller (D-CA) and Judy Chu (D-CA) introduced the Protect Our Workers from Exploitation and Retaliation (POWER) Act, which is designed to provide important labor protections for some of our country’s most vulnerable workers—immigrants—and contains vital safeguards against retaliation by employers.
All too often, employers of workers who complain about illegal working conditions either retaliate or threaten to retaliate against them based on the workers’ immigration status. Some workers are too afraid of retaliation to confront their employer about illegal conditions. The result is workplaces where illegal employment practices flourish—creating poor working conditions for all workers.
By mandating changes in how the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) conducts worksite immigration enforcement and by creating new protections for workers, POWER would help ensure that enforcement of federal immigration law does not undermine workers’ basic job-related rights. The legislation marks a vital step forward and will help create safe and just workplaces for all workers.
POWER’s Key Provisions