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June 13, 2002

L&I offers new worker-information tools for Spanish-language communities

TUMWATER - The Washington Department of Labor & Industries has introduced two new tools - an information line and Internet questions and answers - that provide worker-rights information to Spanish-language communities.

The toll-free information line, at 1-866-219-7321, provides pre-recorded information specifically about farmworker employment rights in Washington state. Topics include minimum wage, paydays and pay stubs, breaks, overtime, farm labor contractors, termination and how to file a complaint.

The information line, in English and Spanish, is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It can be accessed from anywhere inside or outside the state.

Also available in English and Spanish are nearly two dozen questions and answers about workers' rights in general. The information, useful for both workers and employers, covers such topics as pay requirements, severance pay, commissions, rest and meal periods, and minors in the workplace. These "frequently asked questions" are available at www.LNI.wa.gov/scs/workstandards/faqspan.htm.

These two new services from L&I's Employment Standards Program are part of an ongoing and wide-ranging effort to better communicate with Spanish-language communities about L&I's services and responsibilities. Besides enforcing employment laws and regulations, L&I also administers the state workers' compensation system and oversees workplace health and safety through its WISHA division (Washington Industrial Safety and Health Act).

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