Contact: Rabbi Bonnie Margulis, 608-513-7121, [email protected]com, Rebecca Meier-Rao, 608-215-4336, [email protected]

Low-wage and undocumented workers are among the hardest hit by the pandemic, and yet are the least likely to be able to work from home.  They also are the most vulnerable when it comes to complaining to their employer if they feel the workplace is unsafe. With the Governor and the legislature at odds over the state-wide mask mandate, and the inequities in the roll-out of the vaccine, safety in the workplace is more precarious than ever.

In recognition of these facts, the Dignity at Work Coalition created videos in English and Spanish, designed to inform workers of their rights and the obligations of their employers to keep them safe during the pandemic. The coalition encourages local health departments, business groups, health providers, and others to share these videos widely.

Spearheaded by Worker Justice Wisconsin and Voces de la Frontera, the videos are part of a larger effort to promote safety for low-wage and undocumented workers, who often are forced by economic necessity to return to work even under unsafe conditions.

The coalition created two versions of the video. One is aimed at workers in Dane County and educates them about what they have a right to expect from their employer, as outlined by the Public Health Department of Madison and Dane County. Information is also provided on how an employee can file a complaint if he or she feels the workplace is unsafe.

Because similar health department orders are not uniformly available in other parts of the state, a second video addresses workers outside Dane County.  It provides information on how employees and employers can keep themselves and their workplaces safe in the absence of official guidance from local governments.

Both videos are available in English and Spanish. Dr. Patricia Tellez-Giron – Associate Professor Dept of Family Medicine, UW School of Medicine and Public Health explains the importance of handwashing and correctly wearing a mask. The videos also cover social distancing, cleaning of high-touch surfaces, urge workers to stay home if they are feeling sick, and numbers to call for coalition members if they need individual advocacy or assistance.

Watch the videos here:

The Dignity at Work Coalition is made up of groups and individuals who advocate or organize for social and economic justice for all. The coalition seeks to establish higher standards of respect and equality for all who labor, greater compassion for working families, and to foster community solidarity in the service of our mission. To learn more about the coalition visit http://www.dignityatworkcoalition.org/.

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