Infections and deaths from COVID-19 are still occurring daily in the US, although many people act like the pandemic is over. Migrant workers are still one of the minority groups affected the most by this virus, as they often live and work in unsafe conditions.
Many migrant workers are still unaware of their right to paid sick time. Employers of all sizes must provide full-time, part-time, and temporary employees with up to 40 hours of earned sick leave per year to care for themselves or a loved one. This law applies to almost all employees in New Jersey.
During one of our latest migrant workers' camps visits in Gloucester County in South Jersey, CATA members shared that even if they had tested positive for COVID-19, their employers weren't giving them the paid time needed to feel better. So, they decided to continue working because they feared losing employment or income.
After receiving CATA's paid sick leave training, these migrant workers decided to get organized and talk to their employers to demand the days off they needed to recuperate from COVID-19. Ultimately, they got paid for the time off to improve their health. This case is an excellent example of how migrant workers can defend their rights better when they have the information they need and work together.
We are happy to announce that CATA is receiving a grant from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development to provide education and assistance to our South Jersey immigrant community on their rights to paid leave and paid sick time in New Jersey!
We are thankful for this support and glad to be working with partners at Allies in Caring, Inc in Hammonton, NJ, and Unidos para la Familia in Bridgeton, NJ, to bring this critical information and assistance to our community!