ESSENTIAL WORKERS
ESSENTIAL PROTECTIONS

Every person deserves to come home from work safe and healthy

Every Nebraskan deserves to be treated with dignity and respect in a safe and welcoming work environment. Nebraska workers contribute their skills and talents to our communities and deserve secure, well-paying jobs. For more than a decade, we have seen the devastating impact of inhumane work speeds and production pressures on individuals, families, and Nebraska communities. 

Nicholas Grandgenett

He/Him/His
Staff Attorney
Immigrants & Communities

ngrandgenett@neappleseed.org
402-438-8853 x134

Gloria Sarmiento

She/Her/Hers
Sr. Community Organizer
Immigrants & Communities

gsarmiento@neappleseed.org
402-438-8853 x111

Workers’ Rights

We create employee education programs to inform Nebraska’s workers on their right to a safe workplace. Learn about health and safety, how to make a complaint to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), payment of wages, discrimination at work, workers’ compensation (compensation if there is an injury or accident at work). Below you will find videos, brochures, and links to other organizations and resources.

Health and Safety at Work

How to make a safety complaint to OSHA

Note: Your employer cannot punish you for reporting injuries or complaining about health and safety problems. If you or your co-workers are punished, fired, demoted, transferred, or discriminated against for reporting a safety issue, file a discrimination complaint with OSHA within 30 days.

Brochures and resources about your right to health and safety at work:

UFCW Safety & Health: Educational materials on bathroom breaks and many other safety issues.

Workers’ Compensation
Fair Payment of Wages
Unions
Your Right to Join a Union to Have a Voice at Work

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS AT WORK videos

This video covers your right to health and safety in meatpacking and poultry plants (and other workplaces) and how you can act on those rights.

In practical terms and real-life settings, the video covers: your right to a safe workplace under OSHA, the dangers of crippling work speed injuries, early warning signs of serious injuries, reporting injuries, your right to training, choosing your own doctor, how to file a complaint with OSHA, and your right to report safety concerns or injuries without retaliation by your employer.

Click below to view any scene or to play the whole video above.

Sign of a Serious Injury

Pain as a serious warning sign; work speed and recognizing crippling injuries before they are permanent; reporting injuries; and seeing your own doctor.

Talking with a Friend

Reporting safety concerns and injuries, and knowing your rights if your employer retaliates after you report an injury or safety issue.

Supervisor's Office

Your right to receive proper training.

OSHA Office

What is OSHA, and the right to choose your own doctor (in Nebraska and some other states).

Complaint to OSHA

How to file an OSHA complaint and what information to include.

Company Nurse's Office

Never sign something you don’t understand; don’t give away your right to choose your own doctor; and proper treatment of injuries.

LOCAL RESOURCES AVAILABLE TO YOU

PUBLICATIONS

September 2019

When We’re Dead and Buried, Our Bones Will Keep Hurting



By Human Rights Watch
Find Report Here

September 2019
March 2014

Meat and poultry workers testifying before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights


Watch Testimony Here

March 2014
January 2013

OUR work speed petition to OSHA and USDA

Submitted by Southern Poverty Law Center, Nebraska Appleseed, Heartland Workers Center, and other worker and civil rights organizations.
Find Petition Here

January 2013
January 2013

Unsafe at These Speeds


By the Southern Poverty Law Center and Alabama Appleseed
Find Report Here

January 2013
October 2012

Always Working Beyond the Capacity of Our Bodies

By Midwest Coalition for Human Rights
Find Report Here

October 2012
October 2009

The Speed Kills You”: The Voice of Nebraska’s Meatpacking Workers


By Nebraska Appleseed
Find Report Here

October 2009
November 2006

Dignity on the Line


By Nebraska Appleseed
Find Report Here

November 2006
January 2005

Blood, Sweat, and Fear: Workers’ Rights in U.S. Meat and Poultry Plants


By Human Rights Watch
Find Report Here

January 2005
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