We firmly believe that change from the grassroots is fundamentally equitable and reinforces the justice principles enumerated in this nation’s founding documents.
That is why organizing workers, helping them find their political voice, and encouraging them to act in the civic arena is one of our basic duties. As we say, organizing low-income workers in CHIRLA’s DNA.
We began with day laborers and domestic workers in Los Angeles, fighting to establish centers where they could seek work, gain skills, and organize together. We fought local ordinances that infringed on day laborers’ rights, and later birthed a national organization to continue this work. We fought for recognition of domestic workers as people who deserve the same labor benefits as any other workers. Domestic workers are now core organizing leaders at CHIRLA.
We have achieved several victories, but there is still much to do, and we remain committed to worker justice at every level.
Call the EMPLEO Hotline
If you have had issues with wage theft, CHIRLA and its partners have a toll-free assistance line to call to report your case and refer investigations that could result in recovery of your lost wages. Hablamos Español.
Please leave a message, and we will return your call.
CHIRLA’s Principles for Worker Justice
- Create a path to citizenship for undocumented workers: lack of legal status exposes workers to exploitation and denies them basic labor protections. Legalization ensures a level playing field for immigrant workers so they can freely demand their labor rights.
- Increase the minimum wage at the local, state and federal level: Nationally, the hourly minimum wage has not increased from $7.25 in more than a decade. Many immigrant workers have to take low-paid jobs because they lack status, and this locks them out of economic opportunity. We helped raise the state minimum wage, but we still seek a national raise.
- Stop inaccurate E-Verify programs: Electronic employment verification programs to determine workers’ eligibility rely on notoriously inaccurate and outdated immigration data bases without clear processes to correct mistakes. They deny immigrant workers a fair shot.
- Expand enforcement of workplace protections: State and federal labor law must protect workers regardless of their legal status, and agencies charged with enforcing those protections must do so for everyone. Employers must not make distinctions based on legal status.
- Include immigrant workers in safety net programs, regardless of status: The state must not deny safety net programs--economic relief for low-income workers, disability pay, workers’ compensation and healthcare--to immigrant workers who contribute their taxes and labor to the economy.