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Associations, Organizations, and Institutes

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This is a collection of "key documents" generated by associations, organizations, or institutes that have significantly influenced workplace issues.

The Key Workplace Documents series was established by Stuart Basefsky, an Information Specialist and Instructor at Catherwood Library and Director of the IWS News Bureau for the Institute for Workplace Studies (IWS). Content for the series is currently selected by librarians and staff of the Catherwood Library.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 10 of 22
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    Language Access in New York State: A Snapshot From a Community Perspective
    Center for Popular Democracy; Make the Road New York (2013-01-01)
    [Excerpt] The state government provides New Yorkers with a multitude of services and benefits necessary for their survival and success: nutritional supports, health benefits, unemployment insurance and driver’s licenses, to name but a few. In order for these services to be equally accessible to all of the diverse residents of the state, it is essential that government agencies be linguistically accessible, providing interpretation and translation services for the over two million individuals in New York State who are limited English proficient (LEP). This report assesses the state of language access in New York, particularly access to state benefits that are critically important to low-income New Yorkers, such as public benefits, unemployment, and police protection. It examines the degree to which government agencies that administer state benefits programs and services are providing LEP New Yorkers with language assistance services required under a patchwork of federal, state and county-level policies.
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    A Bad Deal: The Proposal for a Mega-Mall on Parkland and the Willets Point Redevelopment
    Make the Road New York (2013-09-01)
    [Excerpt] The site for the proposed development of “Willets West” is public mapped parkland that forms a portion of Flushing Meadows Corona Park (FMCP). “Willets West” is one of three development pro- posals for the park that the Bloomberg administration has announced in its last eighteen months. The name “Willets West” is misleading; the proposal seeks to develop a 1.4 million square foot mall on public land that is located completely outside the actual Willets Point, on the other side of CitiField. Proposed to be developed by the Queens Development Group (QDG), a partnership between the Wil- pon family’s Sterling Equities and the Related Companies, many have dubbed the proposal the “Mets MegaMall” as a more accurate descriptor. This report summarizes the results of a community opinion survey of more than 1,200 residents, compares and contrasts the “Mets MegaMall” proposal to the original plan for Willets Point and makes recommendations about what would make development that consumes public resources and public land appropriately accountable to neighborhood needs. These recommendations are informed both by the original process for considering the future of Willets Point as well as recent experiences with the proposal for the U.S. Tennis Association to expand its footprint within FMCP and the proposal for Major League Soccer to site a new, private stadium within FMCP. Prepared by the Fairness Coalition of Queens, it represents the input of member organizations and individuals from the Corona, Flushing, East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights and Elmhurst communities.
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    The Roof Over Our Heads: The Case For Stronger Enforcement Of New York City's Housing Maintenance Code
    Make the Road New York (2013-10-01)
    [Excerpt] New York City's Housing Maintenance Code (the Code) establishes minimum standards for buildings with multiple apartments. Today, the Code contains some of the most progressive laws in the country regulating interior building conditions such as heat, water, light, plumbing, plaster, and rodents. Thanks, in part, to advocacy by Make the Road New York (MRNY) and other tenant organizations and legal service providers, the City's current Code enforcement system also includes a number of effective enforcement policies. In 2007, the City Council passed the Safe Housing Act, groundbreaking legislation that took a targeted approach to improving the worst living conditions for New Yorkers and authorized the creation of the Alternate Enforcement Program (AEP). Each year, through the AEP, the City's Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) selects 200 of the city's most poorly-maintained residential buildings and notifies their landlords that the buildings require wide-scale repairs. If a landlord then fails to make those repairs, HPD may intervene to have the repairs made and recoup the cost of the repairs from the landlord. Nevertheless, New York City continues to face a housing crisis, with much of its affordable housing stock falling into disrepair and many low-income tenants living in appalling conditions. Without strict mechanisms compelling landlords to adhere to the Code, substandard conditions go uncorrected in many working-class and poor neighborhoods, especially majority Latino and African American areas in the South Bronx, Central Brooklyn, and Upper Manhattan.1 This means that many tenants continue to live in substandard apartment buildings for far too long. While the AEP has substantially transformed conditions for many tenants in distressed buildings, the shortage of affordable housing in New York City means that the neighborhoods where landlords allow their buildings to fall into disrepair are often the same neighborhoods experiencing rapid gentrification and high levels of displacement. After hearing reports of landlords taking advantage of the AEP to force low-income tenants out, renovate the apartments and then rent to young professionals willing to pay a significantly higher rent, MRNY conducted a survey of tenants in AEP buildings. MRNY surveyed 85 tenants in AEP buildings in the area surrounding MRNY's Brooklyn office, surveying tenants from a range of building sizes and covering buildings from all five years of the AEP. Here, we report the results of those surveys. After five years of the AEP, they provide significant insight into the functioning of the AEP from the perspective of AEP building tenants - both in terms of those aspects of the AEP that function well and should be expanded upon, and those aspects of the AEP that may require improvement. They also point the way towards other enforcement mechanisms that might better preserve New York City's housing stock and ensure that all tenants live in conditions that are safe, sanitary and comfortable. This report will demonstrate that there is an intense and ongoing need for the AEP and that it should be expanded in order to increase its impact. MRNY believes, however, that safe and healthy housing conditions should not come at the expense of affordability - in other words, that tenants should be able to expect necessary repairs to be made without being displaced from their homes and communities as a result. MRNY recommends, therefore, that the AEP incorporate additional mechanisms to help prevent tenant displacement. Finally, based on the surveys we conducted, MRNY found that there is some room for improvement with regards to HPD's communication with tenants and the quality and extent of repairs. MRNY believes that a series of minor adjustments to the AEP could greatly enhance its effectiveness.
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    Discrimination at the Workplace, From Application to Termination
    Make the Road New York (2013-10-01)
    [Excerpt] In the spring and summer of 2013, Make the Road New York surveyed over 250 LGBTQ and gender non-conforming identified individuals about their experiences with gender identity/expression employment discrimination. The individuals surveyed had applied for jobs in a variety of di!erent industries, including retail, finance, and education. We also surveyed more than 100 non-LGBTQ identified individuals. Surveys were conducted at local community organizations, LGBTQ support groups, and public events. Finally, we collected in-depth testimonies from transgender and gender non-conforming identified individuals about their experiences with employment discrimination. Those testimonies are included in this report.
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    End Wage Theft: Stop the Billion Dollar Swindle
    Axt, Deborah (2013-01-01)
    [Excerpt] In 2010, the National Employment Law Project found that nearly $1 billion was stolen from low-wage workers every year in New York City alone.1 Despite the strongest laws on the books, all evidence indicates that rampant wage theft continues in our state. Wage theft harms taxpayers across the state: employers who fail to pay minimum wage or overtime are also notorious for failing to pay taxes, workers’ compensation insurance, or unemployment insurance." Law-abiding employers cannot compete when the competitor down the street is undercutting them by stealing workers’ wages. When we fail to make wage and hour protections REAL by enforcing the laws on the books, we are SUBSIDIZING bottom-feeder employers. Responsible employers deserve a fair playing field.
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    Back Home, Back to Work: Eradicating Sandy Mold Infestation Once and For All
    Laborers International Union of North America, Local 78; Make the Road NY; New York Communities for Change; Queens Congregations United for Action (2013-01-01)
    A joint Initiative of Laborers Local 78, the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health, Make the Road NY, New York Communities for Change, Queens Congregations United for Action, ALIGN, the Mutual Housing Association of New York (MHANY), PICO National Network and other members of the Alliance for a Just Rebuilding.
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    Unmet Needs: Superstorm Sandy and Immigrant Communities in the Metro New York Area
    Make the Road New York (2012-12-01)
    [Excerpt] More than a month after Superstorm Sandy, many New Yorkers continue to struggle with the devastation of their homes, neighborhoods and livelihoods. One group that has faced particular challenges, but has received little attention are the region’s thousands of immigrants. Some of the areas hardest hit by Sandy--such as Staten Island and Long Island--are home to large populations of recent immigrants. Long Island’s immigrant population has more than doubled in the past three decades, with nearly one in fi ve residents now born outside of the US. Overall, Latinos represent a third of all immigrants on Long Island. Tens of thousands of immigrants from El Salvador have established vibrant communities in the area, and are now the largest immigrant group on Long Island. On Staten Island, foreign born residents now make up 20% of the population, with Mexicans representing the largest group. The Latino population has grown 51 percent since 2000, now numbering more than 81,000. In particular, the Mexican population on Staten Island has greatly increased, more than doubling since 2000.
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    Transgender Need Not Apply: A Report on Gender Identity Job Discrimination
    Make the Road New York (2010-03-01)
    [Excerpt] Make the Road New York investigated possible employment discrimination against transgender job-seekers in Manhattan’s retail sector using the research tool of matched pair testing. We sent out carefully matched pairs of job applicants, one transgender and one not, to apply for the same jobs. Each pair was equivalent in age and ethnicity and equipped with fictionalized resumes that were evenly matched. Both testing pairs underwent extensive training on how to adopt similar interview styles and how to document their job-seeking interactions objectively. Transgender testers were instructed to explicitly inform store managers and interviewers of their transgender status whenever feasible.
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    Double Fault: The Negative Impact of the US Tennis Association on Flushing Meadows-Corona Park and Surrounding Communities
    Oshiro, Theo (2013-03-01)
    Flushing Meadows-Corona Park (FMCP), Queens' flagship park, is the only major green space in the working class borough of over 2 million people. Queens residents and families use it for recreation, family gathering, soccer, baseball, cricket, picnics, boating, running, and other exercise. The park is heavily utilized with more than 20,000 people playing soccer every week in the organized soccer leagues - with countless others enjoying the park seven days a week. It is also currently home to several major private sports facilities, including the stadiums of the USTA's Billie Jean King National Tennis Center (NTC) and Citifield, home of the New York Mets. The communities surrounding the park are diverse and lower income, with 75% of the surrounding residents being people of color and 40% living below the poverty line. Corona, a heavily immigrant neighborhood adjacent to the park, has the worst childhood obesity rate in the entire city at 51%. In the waning days of the Bloomberg Administration, the park is being targeted as a building site for several of the Mayor's stated "Legacy'' projects. Corporations are eager to acquire valuable land at low cost and generous public subsidies for their own developments. The park and surrounding communities are under siege by corporate and political interests seeking to exploit this valuable public asset at the expense of the largely working class,immigrant population of Queens. One of the three proposed projects is the Urtited States Tennis Association's (USTA) bid to expand their already sizable footprint inside the park by capturing an additional .94 acres to their leasehold. The USTA estimates that the NTC expansion would bring an additional 10,000 spectators per day dlu·ing the U.S. Open. The proposed $500 million renovation would include the consh-uction of a third tennis stadium, renovations to enlarge two existing stadiums, two new parking garages, a new road, up to 170,000-gsf of new retail space, and a dirty diesel­ fueled power plant. This report examines the revenues and profits USTA has at its disposal as a result of their special siting within Flushing Meadows Corona Park. It further studies how much economic development occurs in the surrounding communities as a result of USTA's presence. Finally, this report will explore the extent to which the NTC is really open to the public as parkland.
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    Sandy’s Mold Legacy: The Unmet Need Six Months After the Storm
    ALIGN; Community Voices Heard; Faith in New York; Make the Road NY; New York Communities for Change; VOCAL-NY (2013-05-01)
    [Excerpt] Just over six months ago, Hurricane Sandy hit the shores of New York, bringing floods and standing water to neighborhoods across the tri-state area. New York City was hit especially hard—with an estimated 70,000 to 80,000 homes affected by water damage. But if the destructive capacity of flooding and water damage was bad, it soon became clear homeowners were faced with an even greater threat. Flooded homes not dried out within 24 to 48 hours were at serious risk of developing mold infestations, threatening the health and safety of thousands of New Yorkers. Six months later, the acute need for mold remediation across New York City has not abated, and mold’s disproportionate impact on low-income and immigrant communities has resulted in displacement, sickness, and continued crisis in Sandy-affected neighborhoods. Major community-based organizations with roots in those neighborhoods have stepped in to help construct solutions. Members of the Alliance for a Just Rebuilding, a coalition of labor unions and community, faith-based, environmental and policy organizations across New York, have begun to survey residents in order to meaningfully assess the post-Sandy mold crisis across the city. In March and April, Faith in New York (formerly Queens Congregations United for Action), Make the Road NY, and New York Communities for Change conducted phone and door-to-door surveys across the Rockaways and in Staten Island, reaching almost 700 households. Feedback from residents forms the basis for this report’s analysis of the threat of mold in hurricane-ravaged neighborhoods and our recommendations on how city leaders should respond to the crisis.