Human Rights

|Worker's Rights Issues | Civil Rights | Housing |

In the final process of compiling this report, several areas of discussion were combined under the general area of Human Rights.  The topics discussed under this section basically addresses how we as human beings treat others regardless of their legal status in this country or state.  Three areas are discussed under this section: 1) Worker’s Rights, 2) Civil Rights, and 3) Housing.

Out of all of the areas of study, the topics discussed in this section were perhaps the most difficult to define in any quantitative manner.  This is perhaps the case because many persons who are mistreated don’t report their mistreatment to state or federal regulatory agencies because of fear of deportation and/or they are not aware of their rights under the law, regardless of their immigrant status in this country.   What is reported in this section are issues and advisory recommendations based upon the comments from persons speaking at local meetings and persons who provide services at the grassroots level to the Hispanic/Latino community.

Worker’s Rights Issues:

  1. There is a misconception among the Hispanic/Latino community and employers  that illegal aliens are not covered by the State Workers’ Compensation Laws.

  2. Because many workers do not speak English and are not made aware of wage and hour laws, they are often taken advantage of in the work place by employers who require them to work long hours without overtime pay.

  3. Undocumented workers who are hurt on the job are often told by the employer that they have no administrative remedy.   
Advisory Recommendations - Worker’s Rights:
  1. The State Workers’ Compensation Commission should train and/or hire qualified bilingual personnel to oversee educating employers and the Hispanic/Latino community about the Worker’s Compensation Law and who is covered.
  2.  State legislation should be passed requiring all employers, both public and private, to display worker’s rights, wage and hour information, and other employment information in English and Spanish.
  3. Fines for employers who fail to pay proper compensation to workers who work overtime should be levied in accordance with state law.
  4. The State Worker’s Compensation Commission should run television and radio spots in Spanish on Univision and Telemundo  satellite channels twice yearly, to make the Hispanic/Latino populations aware of their rights.

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    Civil Rights Issues:

    1.  Persons believe they are being treated unfairly in the work place because of their national origin and Spanish dialect.

    Advisory Recommendation - Civil Rights:      

    1.  The South Carolina Human Affairs Commission should run television and radio spots in Spanish on Univision and Telemundo satellite channels twice yearly, to make the Hispanic/Latino populations aware of their rights under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the South Carolina Human Affairs Law.

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    Housing Issues:

    1.  Hispanic/Latino persons are often taken advantage of by land lords, who rent rundown housing by per person occupancy.  One example was given of a group of six men that were charged $200 per person to live in a rundown mobile home. The slum lord was making $1,200.00 a month by exploiting these individuals.

    Advisory Recommendation - Housing:

    1.  The State Housing Finance and Development Authority, in collaboration with local housing authorities, should conduct a comprehensive study of the rental housing community, to determine the extent of the problem and make recommendations to Governor Hodges for addressing substandard  housing.

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