Diaspora News

Consulate General in LA helps to protect rights of legal, undocumented Pinoy workers

Consul General Adelio Angelito Cruz Photo © Philippine Consulate General Los Angeles California
LOS ANGELES (LA)-Philippine Consul General Adelio Angelito S. Cruz recently called on documented and undocumented Filipino workers to avail of the services of the Philippine Consulate if they have issues or concerns regarding their employments.

Cruz made the call shortly after the Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles renewed an agreement with the United States Department of Labor-Wage and Hour Division (US-DOL-WHD) to enhance coordination between the two parties in reaching out and educating employers and workers on their respective rights and responsibilities.

“Napakalaking tulong nito para sa ating mga kababayan dahil sinisigurado nito na ang suweldo ng mga tao rito ay tumutugma sa kanilang batas (US labor laws). Kayo man ay legal o undocumented, wala silang pakialam. Ang mahalaga nagta-trabaho kayo at kailangang bayaran kayo ng kung ano ang sinasabi ng batas,” Cruz said. 

The Philippine consul general enjoined Filipino workers to call or visit the consulate’s office if they have inquiries or are needing help.

The signing of the Agreement Establishing an Understanding between the Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles and the United States Department of Labor-Wage and Hour Division happened on Monday (February 27) at the conference hall of the consular office.

Regional director (Western Region) Ruben Rosalez signed for the US-DOL-WHD while Cruz represented the Philippine Consulate in LA.

Rosalez told the media that teaming up with the Philippine consular office would greatly boost their capability to enforce rules and regulations in workplaces and as well as reach out and educate employees and employers.

The agreement, which was last signed by the two parties (US and RP representatives) in October 2013, has a three-year duration.

In leaflets provided by US-DOL-WHD, it was clarified that residential care facilities, group homes, and board-and-care facilities are all covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and should follow the mandate on minimum wage and overtime pay.

On exemptions minimum wage and overtime pay requirements are only granted to “employees whose primary duties are managerial, administrative, or professional in nature.”

Employers are also required to keep accurate payroll and daily time records. Time records are required to be preserved for three years.

Abner Galino
The author is a poet and a writer. He was a cultural worker before he became a reporter for Tinig ng Masa and Malaya Midday Edition during the Marcos regime. He later became a reporter of People's Tonight shortly after 1986 EDSA Revolution. He went on to become its Chief of Reporters, City Editor and News Editor. He retired after 15 years in the Journal Group of Publications. He now writes for Weekend Balita and the US Asian Post (USAP), weekly Filipino-American newspapers based in Los Angeles, California.

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