The US Department of Labor met with the Mexican Consulate in Boise to promote labor rights awareness in four regional states amidst the hotly contested topic of migrant labor in the 2016 US Presidential election.
During Labor Rights Week, embassies and consulates meet with the US Department of Labor's field offices to increase awareness and inform workers and employers about rights and responsibilities under federal labor laws.
Idaho depends on many agricultural workers from near and far who follow the seasons.
"They are workers here for the rural industry in Idaho. They are coming from Mexico, or California, or Washington State, following the crops... the harvest," said Rene Mejia, Deputy Counsel of Mexico.
The purpose of today's (August 30, 2016) meeting is to affirm committment to providing Mexican nationals enough training and education so they can address potential abuse by employers.
Though a worker may be undocumented, their basket of rights includes the right to be paid what they have earned, to not be overworked, and to hold employers accountable to labor standards.
The US Labor Department Wages and Hours Division says fairness is an issue for workers as much as it is for employers. "You have other employers who undercut the workforce by not paying overtime. Then those employers who are abiding by the law are at a financial disadvantage."
The US Department of Labor includes a website dedicated to appraising workers of employers who have been investigated and may owe back wages after a DOL investigation.