FAQ: Immigrant Workers’ Rights and COVID-19

Immigrant Workers’ Rights and COVID-19

A Resource for Workers and Their Advocates

By: National Immigration Law Center | National Employment Law Project | OSH Law Project

APRIL 10, 2020

The COVID-19 public health crisis is creating many challenges for immigrant workers and their families. An estimated six million immigrants are in essential jobs at the front lines of the response to this pandemic. They work in industries such as health care, grocery and pharmacy retail, manufacturing, cleaning and janitorial services, and agriculture. An additional six million foreign-born workers are employed in industries that have been hard-hit by business closures. These include food service, travel and hospitality, personal services and private household work, and building services.

This document answers frequently asked questions from immigrant workers and their advocates about COVID-19-related topics.

It is critical that all immigrants know their rights at work and have the information and protections they need to ensure their health, safety, and wellbeing during this unprecedented time. Many resources are available to address various aspects of this crisis. This document is designed to answer frequently asked questions from immigrant workers and their advocates related to COVID-19. Where possible, we include links to additional information on various topics.[3] This is an evolving area of policy, and this document will be updated to reflect the rapidly changing nature of this issue.

This FAQ cover these topics:

  • Safety and Health on the Job
  • Using Collective Action to Improve Workplace Safety and Health
  • Paid and Unpaid Time Off from Work
  • Employer Actions Regarding Workers’ Health
  • Prohibited Discrimination and Harassment
  • Unemployment Insurance
  • Workers’ Compensation
  • Worksite Immigration Enforcement & Employment Eligibility Verification
  • Economic Stimulus Payments
  • Access to Health Care

To download a PDF of the FAQ from NELP’s website, click on the PDF icon, above.

Webpage version (on NELP’s website):