The Brazilian Worker Center offers in person workshops for workers and domestic workers on workers’ rights, labor laws every 15 days at our office located at 14 Harvard Ave, 2nd Floor Allston. Our workers’ rights project is our core program and is the foundation for all the initiatives, activities, educational sessions, and training that take place at BWC. In the last four years we have recouped approximately $ 3.5 million in restitution for workers, by direct mediation, through complaint referrals to state and federal labor authorities, or in small claims courts.
Mulheres Vencedoras is a women-led project developed and implemented by the Brazilian Worker Center, Inc. This mindfulness-based project intervention aims to disseminate the importance of mental health and wellness among immigrant workers who may experience chronic health issues, including cancer, anxiety, among others.
Coalition building and campaign organizing are two very important components of the BWC’s work. BWC co-chairs the Driving Families Forward coalition on behalf of the Work and Family Mobility Act as well as the coalition to advance the Wage Theft Bill in collaboration with AFL-CIO. BWC was also a key leader in the four-year campaign to achieve a Massachusetts Domestic Workers Bill of Rights in 2014. Since then, BWC created the Domestic Worker Advocacy Project (DWAN) to educate workers and employers about their rights and responsibilities under the new law. BWC’s domestic worker rights booklet is used in this work; with partners such as Studio REV of New York, and Northeastern Nu Law Lab, BWC also created a Know Your Rights and Workplace Safety hotline for domestic workers; and, developed a new OSHA safety and health course for domestic workers in 2015.
Building Justice is an innovative worker committee, funded by the Brazilian Worker Center in partnership with Justice At Work (J@W), responsible for monitoring and taking action on wage theft cases in the community.
At BWC, we assist immigrants with general information about the US legal system and differences between federal agencies and offer multiple programs to contribute to their capacity building. Among programs offered are:
The Brazilian Worker Center has considerable experience delivering occupational safety and health training to workers in a number of industries common among immigrant workers in our community. Under the support of six Susan Harwood Targeted Training and Capacity Building grants since 2011, we have given Portuguese- and Spanish-language Fall Prevention training for Residential Construction. As of 2021, we are also offering Infectious Diseases and COVID-19 for workers.
The Dreamers project aims to capacitate immigrant youth, particularly Spanish- and Portuguese- Speaking Latinos with various knowledge and skills necessary to become empowered and productive citizens in the Greater Boston area.
Immigrants who reside in the Greater Boston Area can reach out to and visit us at the center to request assistance with applying for rent support with local rent assistance programs. BWC can assist with making phone calls and reading and interpreting corresponding forms.
Arriving in a new country can be very challenging especially when immigrants have school age children. The Brazilian Worker Center can contact local schools on behalf of families and students and assist with school registration. Additionally, the organization can support recently arrived families with check-in and communication via phone and emails with federal agencies, when needed; support families of detainees who need assistance with registering with commissary account on Detention Centers; provide information about how to pay fines and how to pay child support online; support with responding to Jury duty; and, give family orientation sessions about how to make bank transfers and send money to inmates; among other services.
The Brazilian Worker Center can assist immigrants with making phone calls with employers in response to wage theft cases and other types of injustice towards employees, as well as with referring immigrants to local private attorney partners and other organizations and agencies that can provide consultations and mediations, when needed.
Facilitating reading comprehension and interpreting documents and making phone calls in English.
Language barriers can be very challenging. This is why the Brazilian Worker Center offers support by assisting members of our immigrant community to read and interpret various documents and forms, which may not be available in their native language, as well as with making phone calls in English, when needed.
Notaries public hold a variety of responsibilities including witnessing signatures, issuing subpoenas, and witnessing the opening of a bank safe, vault, or box.