December 1, 2020         
Orlando Family Physicians Now in Network for CarePlus Health Plans Medicare Advantage Members   •   Inside the December/January Issue of AARP The Magazine   •   Comcast RISE Awards More Than 40 Black-Owned, Small Businesses in Houston with Marketing Resources and Technology Makeovers   •   Washington DC Temple Announces Special Drive-Thru Edition of Annual Festival of Lights for 2020   •   4-H receives $3 million grant from the Walmart Foundation to improve health equity in communities across the country   •   CMA President Statement on Turpel-Lafond Report   •   Chris Brown Wins Big at the 2020 “Soul Train Awards” Hosted by Tisha Campbell and Tichina Arnold   •   AJC Praises Slovenia's Designation of Hezbollah as Terrorist Organization   •   Comcast RISE Awards Three Black-Owned, Small Businesses in Albuquerque with Marketing and Technology Resources and Makeovers   •   Endpoints News to hold its first annual Women in Biopharma 2020 event, recognizing this year's top 20 women in drug R&D   •   Coca-Cola gives $665,000 to Clayton State toward first generation, women in STEM scholarships   •   Enough is Enough: Ontario Engineering Community Committed to Uprooting Systematic Biases   •   Join Experience Retail™: a Webcast Hosted by Washington Prime Group on December 9   •   Comcast RISE Awards Eight Black-Owned, Small Businesses in Portland with Marketing Resources and Technology Makeovers   •   Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum Sets Premiere of Virtual For Love of Country Gala   •   Kohl’s Gives $5 Million This Holiday Season to Surprise More Than 100 Nonprofits Who Give with All Their Heart   •   The RACE for Children Act: Early Global Impact and Ensuring Success with Pediatric Champions, Upcoming Webinar Hosted by Xtalks   •   DISH Network Puts Consumers at Risk of Losing Network and Local Community Programming During Pandemic   •   FIBRA Prologis Recognized as Sustainability Leader in Newly Released ESG Rankings   •   Comcast RISE Awards Five Black-Owned, Small Businesses in Utah with Marketing and Technology Resources and Makeovers
Bookmark and Share

NY Court Bars Enforcement Of Unconstitutional Ordinance Targeting Day Laborers

  A federal judge issued an extraordinary order barring enforcement of an Oyster Bay ordinance that violates day laborers’ core constitutional right to free speech. As a result of the order, day laborers whose livelihoods were threatened because of the ordinance can exercise their First Amendment rights and go back to work immediately without being ticketed or fined.

“This ruling is a great victory for the First Amendment and for the day laborers who can now go back to work and support their families,” said Samantha Fredrickson, director of the New York Civil Liberties Union’s Nassau County Chapter.

The ruling follows a lawsuit filed on May 18 on behalf of Centro de la Comunidad Hispana de Locust Valley and the Workplace Project by the NYCLU, American Civil Liberties Union and LatinoJustice PRLDEF. It challenges an ordinance enacted in September 2009 that prohibits standing on the sidewalk to solicit employment and bars motorists from stopping to solicit employment or hire workers. The Oyster Bay law, enacted in September 2009 purportedly to address traffic and pedestrian safety, criminalizes a wide variety of constitutionally protected speech that presents no threat to traffic safety, including, for example, students soliciting cars for a high school carwash fundraiser.

Today’s ruling is a preliminary assessment that the law is likely to be found unconstitutional and that the right to free speech should be protected while the court further considers the matter. The court will consider the matter next at a hearing on May 28 at which it will examine whether or not to grant a preliminary injunction further prohibiting enforcement of the law.

“Day laborers are hardworking people and provide a valuable service to this community that we are all part of,” said Cesar Perales, president and general counsel of LatinoJustice PRLDEF. “This law is a clear violation of their First Amendment rights.”

For nearly two decades, day laborers have gathered in Oyster Bay, particularly the Hamlet of Locust Valley and the Village of Farmingdale, to find work. Since passing the ordinance, the Town has stationed law enforcement officers at a corner at which workers and contractors typically meet, keeping contractors away from the site and intimidating workers seeking employment. The ordinance has had a devastating effect on the workers, who typically depend on these jobs to feed themselves and their families, and frequently lack transportation to seek work elsewhere.

Local lawmakers and police officials have never explained why current road safety laws – such as New York State’s vehicle and traffic laws – are inadequate to protect motorists or pedestrians. At the public hearing, no resident or Oyster Bay Town Board member indicated that a single traffic accident had occurred as a result of a day laborer soliciting work. The legislative record on the ordinance contains no evidence that the presence of day laborers causes traffic problems.

“Local attempts to regulate immigration by passing ordinances that restrict free speech are unconstitutional, ineffective, and only drain state and local budgets while hurting workers and local businesses,” said Farrin Anello, an attorney with the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project. “Standing on the sidewalk to let people know that you are available for work is not a crime. The Constitution protects all people in this country, regardless of their background.”

Lawyers on the case are Corey Stoughton, Adriana Piñón and Arthur Eisenberg for the NYCLU; Alan Levine and Christina Iturralde for PRLDEF; and Lee Gelernt and Farrin Anello for the ACLU



Back to top
| Back to home page
Video

White House Live Stream
LIVE VIDEO EVERY SATURDAY
alsharpton Rev. Al Sharpton
9 to 11 am EST
jjackson Rev. Jesse Jackson
10 to noon CST


Video

LIVE BROADCASTS
Sounds Make the News ®
WAOK-Urban
Atlanta - WAOK-Urban
KPFA-Progressive
Berkley / San Francisco - KPFA-Progressive
WVON-Urban
Chicago - WVON-Urban
KJLH - Urban
Los Angeles - KJLH - Urban
WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
New York - WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
WADO-Spanish
New York - WADO-Spanish
WBAI - Progressive
New York - WBAI - Progressive
WOL-Urban
Washington - WOL-Urban

Listen to United Natiosns News