There are millions of New Yorkers who do not speak English as their primary language and have limited ability to read, speak, write, or understand English. For these New Yorkers, their Limited English Proficient (LEP) status presents potential barriers to accessing important government programs and services.
In April 2022, Governor Hochul enacted New York State’s current language access policy as part of the FY 2023 Enacted Budget. This new law, which took effect on July 1, 2022, codified and expanded New York’s previous language access policy. Under the language access law, all State agencies that interact with the public must provide interpretation services in any language with respect to the provision of agency services or benefits, and must translate vital agency documents into the top 12 most commonly spoken non-English languages among LEP New Yorkers based on Census data.
NYSDOL provides one-on one assistance to LEP individuals both in person and over the phone by: providing oral interpretation services in the individual’s primary language to help them obtain of services or benefits; providing forms and downloadable files in 29 languages, including all vital documents available in the 12 most commonly spoken non-English languages; developing and submitting a Language Access Plan; and designating a Language Access Coordinator who monitors agency compliance.
Resources Learn More About Language Access at DOL
NYSDOL’s unemployment insurance chatbot, Perkins, currently speaks 13 languages. To get assistance with unemployment insurance, click the Perkins bot in the lower righthand corner of the DOL homepage and select your preferred language.
The Unemployment Insurance Claimant Advocate Office provides free, impartial, and confidential services that help claimants, particularly those with limited English proficiency, understand their rights and responsibilities under Unemployment Insurance Law.
iSpeak posters available in all areas operated by the agency and open to the public. This tool is used to assist people who do not speak or read English to...
All Career Center staff have access to Language Line, which provides an in-language translation experience for our limited-English callers from the beginning of the call to the end.
Bilingual staff members, where available, assist LEP individuals. As reported in our agency's Language Access Plan, as of September 2022, DOL employs 195 staff members throughout various divisions.