Standing Tall With Worker Rights Los Derechos al Trabajo

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Mary Beth O’Sullivan, Ignatian Volunteer & Donna Stiglmeier, Director of Casserly House

Did you know that workers who receive tips must be paid $6.75 per hour and, if tips don’t add up to the minimum $15 per hour, the employer is required to make up the difference? This information and more were presented at an interactive workshop on February 9th entitled “Protect Rights at Work” sponsored by Casserly House and held at the Roslindale Public Library. Simultaneous translation in Haitian Creole and Spanish was provided by Boston Linguistics.

The presenters Rick Rabin and Francisca Sepulveda from Mass Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (MassCOSH) spoke about wages, worker’s compensation, occupational safety and health, and discrimination. Small groups were engaged in discussing case studies on these topics (in first language). Then, in the large group, the participants shared their work experiences and asked follow-up questions. The exit survey revealed that participants were pleased to know that they have rights at work and that there are agencies to help them.

Thank you to the Neighbor to Neighbor and Imago Dei Funds for providing the resources for this workshop, to our collaboration with ABCD BostonRoslindale for an entire English Class in attendance, and to many new and continuing volunteers.

Post Script: The word “derecho” in Spanish can mean both a right (as in “rights and duties”) and the descriptive “upright.” It is hoped that workers can walk upright realizing that they have rights at work. Exercising rights takes connecting to other people and to strategic support. February 9th was a first step!


Francisca and Rick field a question about discrimination.