SUPPORT MEMO: Language Access in Workers’ Compensation Proceedings

S1721 Ramos/A1327 Crespo

The New York State AFL-CIO, representing 2.5 million union workers and their families, as well as our retirees and their families, supports the above-referenced legislation.

This legislation would require the Workers’ Compensation Board to provide translation services for hearings and to translate all documents in the six most common non-English languages spoken by New York residents with limited English proficiency. It would also require the Board to implement a language access plan and appoint a language access coordinator to ensure compliance.

Immigrant workers and those with limited English proficiency are more likely to get injured on the job. Injured and ill workers are entitled to adequate wage replacement and prompt high quality care regardless of the language they speak. Unfortunately, all too often, workers who do not speak English fluently are denied productive participation in their claim and do not get the benefits required by law. We need to ensure these workers are receiving the full benefits they are entitled to that are essential to their recovery and livelihood.

Therefore, this Federation urges this bill be passed.

For further information, contact the Legislative Department at 518-436-8516.