Sometimes, workers are afraid to report violations of worker protection laws or cooperate in labor investigations. They fear their employer will punish them.
This fear is often heightened for immigrant workers. They worry that their employer will report them for suspected immigration violations. They fear deportation or other immigration-related consequences.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recognizes that this fear can hurt government agency efforts to protect workers. To help labor agencies’ enforcement efforts, DHS may grant deferred action to noncitizen workers who are:
- Victims of a labor violation
- Witnesses to a labor violation
Deferred action is when DHS uses its discretion in immigration matters and provides temporary protection from deportation, generally up to two years. It is granted on a case-by-case basis. If granted deferred action, you can also get employment authorization (permission to work).
You can support your deferred action application with a Statement of Interest.
This is a letter issued by a government agency that:
- Describes the labor agency’s investigation or enforcement action
- Explains why granting deferred action and employment authorization would support the agency’s enforcement
Request a Statement of Interest
The Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) enforces labor laws in New York City. If you are covered by a DCWP labor investigation or enforcement action, you can request a Statement of Interest from DCWP. DCWP also accepts requests from a group of workers.
Learn how to request a Statement of Interest from DCWP.
Email your questions to SOIrequest@dcwp.nyc.gov.