Governor Hochul Signs Rozic/Ramos Legislation to Ensure Language Access Services for Injured Workers

Queens, NY Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law a groundbreaking piece of legislation championed by Assemblymember Nily Rozic (D-Queens) and Senator Jessica Ramos

(D-Queens), marking a significant milestone in workers' rights and language accessibility.

A5609/S6069 directly addresses the language access needs of employees with limited proficiency in English, with a special emphasis on cases involving workers. This bill streamlines the language access standards within the workers’ compensation law. Its resounding passage through both houses of the Legislature in May underscores its broad-based, bipartisan support.

“It is crucial that the needs of all employees, regardless of their English proficiency are served, especially those workers who seek assistance and intervention from Workers Compensation Boards,” said Assemblymember Rozic. “By ensuring consistency across agencies, we are providing transparency and easier access to workers’ benefits to the many employees across the state whose first language is not English. I thank Governor Hochul for signing this crucial piece of legislation into law.”

“Support that the State is able to offer is only valuable if people know about it. Workers’ compensation is an economic stabilizer for families that rely both on the ability to heal and the paychecks that keep them afloat. Assemblymember Rozic and I represent some of the most diverse zip codes in the entire country, and we know that policy is only as good as its implementation. I’d like to thank the Governor for signing this bill and prioritizing measures that working families in my district rely on,” said State Senator Jessica Ramos.

“As immigrant workers continue to be amongst the most vulnerable to workplace hazards, language accessibility must always be a top priority for policymakers," Asian American Federation Executive Director, Jo-Ann Yoo, said. "We are grateful to Governor Hochul for signing A5609/S6069 into law, and to Assemblymember Rozic and Senator Ramos for demonstrating their concern for our most susceptible populations and emphasizing the need for clear, consistent, and impactful regulations that address language access. Our immigrant workers, the drivers of our state's economy, deserve nothing less.”

The Coalition for Asian American Children and Families (CACF) applauds Governor Hochul for signing Assemblymember Rozic and Senator Ramos' bill A5609/S609 into law. This new legislation will help ensure Limited English Proficient (LEP) injured workers are provided necessary language access services in order to receive their Workers' Compensation benefits,” said Vanessa Leung and Anita Gundanna, Co-Directors of CACF. “Language barriers are a huge obstacle faced by many folks in immigrant communities and can prevent them from accessing essential services. Workers’ Compensation is a critical program for the wellbeing of injured workers and this bill helps ensure that LEP injured workers receive the benefits they are entitled to. Proper language access is necessary to achieve health equity and this bill is an important step towards a more equitable health care system.

“This commonsense law will make it easier for immigrant workers with limited English proficiency to access essential benefits when they’re injured on the job,” said Thomas Yu, Executive Director of Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE). “We are grateful to Assemblymember Rozic and Senator Ramos for standing up in support of some of our most vulnerable community members and to Governor Hochul for signing this legislation.”

This legislation builds upon the success of Senator Ramos and Assemblymember Rozic’s 2022 law that requires the Workers' Compensation Board to provide translations of specific documents and forms.