Female Immigrant Workers and the Law: Limits and Opportunities
27 Pages Posted: 3 Aug 2006
Date Written: 2006
This paper explains the reasons that traditional United States labor and employment laws are incapable of effectively addressing the types of workplace problems confronting female immigrant workers. It critiques the protections supposedly offered by the free market, labor standards, antidiscrimination laws and collective bargaining. It argues that statutory exclusion, immigration issues, nonrecognition of injury, and cultural limitations thwart the effectiveness of traditional approaches. It then describes a variety of initiatives and approaches being taken at the domestic and international level that more effectively address these problems. These initiatives include the use of the Thirteenth Amendment and antitrafficking legislation, as well as submissions filed under the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation and other international treaties. This paper will appear as a chapter in the forthcoming book, The Sex of Class: Women Transforming American Labor, edited by Dorothy Sue Cobble, and published by Cornell University Press.
Keywords: immigrant women; human trafficking, labor law, NAALC, immigrant workers, thirteenth amendment
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