Immigrants are vital members of Maine’s workforce, but language and other barriers may prevent them from accessing information they need about how their employers are managing staffing, sick leave or PTO, lay-offs or furloughs, and access to federal and state financial and public health supports in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
MeBIC has heard from immigrant associations that members of their communities may be uncertain about their employers’ policies, and also may be afraid to ask questions, or to request leave to stay at home for health reasons or to care for children not in school, or sick family members, in fear of losing their jobs.
MeBIC has a handout with suggestions for employers about communicating effectively with immigrant employees who might have language or other barriers to accessing important workplace or governmental COVID-19 information, with links to resources in other languages, and information on interpretation and translation services.
MeBIC also has a flyer explaining immigrant eligibility for the “recovery rebate” economic impact payments created by the CARES Act. Employers can help inform their immigrant employees about this benefit, by sharing the flyer currently available in English, Arabic, French, Portuguese, Somali, and Spanish. Additional translations are in the works.