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PRESS RELEASE
8-22-13

EEOC’s New York District Office and Mexican Consulate Sign Historic Partnership Agreement

Collaborative Partnership to Enforce, Protect and Educate Vulnerable Workers

NEW YORK - Today the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) New York District Office and the Mexican Consulate in New York signed a Memorandum of Under­stand­ing (MOU) at a joint press conference in New York City. The agreement, signed by EEOC District Director Kevin Berry and Consul General Sandra Fuentes-Berrain Villenave, officially establishes a five-year collaboration between these government entities to solidify their efforts to enforce, protect and educate all Mexicans about their employment rights of in the workplace, regardless of immigration status. The signing of the agreement was attended by members of English-language and Spanish-language press and media.

"The signing of the agreement is the very important first step between the two parties, but the real job begins when we enforce it," said EEOC District Director Kevin Berry.

Consul General Sandra Fuentes-Berrain Villenave added, "We welcome the partnership with the EEOC and look forward to protecting the rights of our fellow Mexican citizens."

As the Mexican Consulate approaches its annual Labor Rights Week campaign, the EEOC New York District Office will participate in providing information and assistance to Mexican-American citizen and nationals about their rights under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act 1964. The Labor Rights Week event will also give presentations on wage-and-hour issues and work­place safety, provided by the U.S. Wage and Hour Division and OSHA (the U.S. Occupation Safety and Hazard Administration), respectively.

Eliminating discriminatory policies affecting vulnerable workers who may be unaware of their rights under equal employment laws, or reluctant or unable to exercise them is one of six national priorities identified by the agency's Strategic Enforcement Plan. These policies can include disparate pay, job segregation, harassment and human trafficking.

The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination. Further information is available at www.eeoc.gov.