Smart workers are
"The reason why I feel very proud to belong to the Heartland Workers Center's leadership group it's because the organization is a place where the rights and values of human beings are respected "
Workers Rights Core Team member
Workers Rights Program
The Workers Rights Program promotes the Heartland Workers Center mission of educating immigrant and underrepresented workers to empower themselves to become leaders in their workplace and in civic life. We do this by providing training for workers to know and exercise their rights, and to improve their working conditions through collective action. We refer and support workers to build collective power, including using labor and government agencies to exercise their workplace rights. We organize workers and community partners to advocate for improved labor laws and greater protections for workers. The workers we train, in turn, educate others, to promote and defend their rights.
If you start a Worker Action, we will guide workers to start a worker committee or campaign at their workplace to engage their co-workers, do a power analysis, and learn their rights. Workers will learn necessary steps to protect themselves from retaliation, and then take action through negotiation or other collective action (petitions, demand letters, press releases, demonstrations, etc.). The goals and strategies will be worker-guided and collaborative.
Workers interested in starting a Worker Action will begin by attending our monthly Know-Your-Rights Orientation training. Check our calendar for the next training! Workers will then be paired with Organizers who will guide them in building their collective strategy. Heartland Workers Center will be there every step of the way with training, samples, and space to organize!
Workers interested in individual legal solutions, like filing an individual wage theft, discrimination, or workplace safety complaint are provided with self-help resources (See Self-Help Below).
Work Smart! Know Your Rights Orientation
You will need this training before you begin your Worker Action. Learn your rights to organize, including different ways of taking collective action to improve working conditions, and how to avoid retaliation. Attendees will be encouraged to share what issues brought them there, and encouraged to bring co-workers. They can get questions answered about specific legal issues they are facing, but those are not the focus of the discussion.
Offered in Spanish and English every second Wednesday of the Month.
Check our HWC events calendar to find zoom links or times and locations for all Work Smart! Trainings are open to the public! (Click here to go to our Events Calendar)
Request an OSHA Training
The training institute is designed for small business employers and their employees to help them understand their roles and responsibilities in creating a safe and healthy work environment. Trainings can be customized for workers in several industries including construction, cleaning and general labor.
*Due to COVID-19, these classes will be held virtually via Zoom. With that, a minimum of THREE participants must sign-up (per OSHA standards), must have access to a computer and stable internet service.