The NLRB Reiterates The Importance of Immigrant Worker Rights

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
06/22/2022

In its continued aggressive efforts to expand legal protections for workers and unions, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) General Counsel’s office recently issued a memorandum reiterating the rights of immigrant workers under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).  Memorandum OM 22-09, titled Ensuring Safe and Dignified Access for Immigrant Workers to NLRB Processes, reiterates NLRB policy on a worker’s right to use the NLRB collective bargaining process regardless of immigration status, and without fear of employer or federal government consequences.

The memo contains a fact sheet (in English and Spanish) that NLRB agents will provide to witnesses during investigations explaining how immigration status is not relevant to whether the NLRA has been violated; that workers will not be asked about their immigration status; that workers do not need to share any information with the NLRB or any fellow employees about their immigration status; that no information will be shared with the Department of Homeland Security including Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or any other immigration agency; that information obtained during NLRB investigations is protected; and that a charging party or witness can ask the NLRB to seek immigration relief if necessary to protect employees who are participating in NLRB processes or exercising their rights under the NLRA.

This memo is a follow up to GC Memorandum 22-01, which directed that NLRB agents should verbally let a witness know, before taking their testimony, that an individual’s immigration or work authorization status is not relevant to the NLRB’s investigation of whether the NLRA has been violated, and that the NLRB will not ask about immigration or work authorization status or share such status with ICE or other federal immigration agencies.

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