Albany, NY (WIBX) - The first ever Immigrant Workers' Rights Awareness Weekend is being celebrated in New York.

Leo Rosales of the state Labor Department says it's about educating all workers about their rights.

"State labor laws are designed to protect everyone who is a worker in New York State. And, there is a place to go to and there are numbers to call, to find out what rights you have under the law," Rosales said.

Seventeen communities across the state are sponsoring events this weekend, including Syracuse, Albany and Buffalo.

Rosales says immigrant workers are more likely to be taken advantage of due to language and cultural barriers, isolation, fear of authorities and a lack of awareness about state workers' rights laws.

He says immigrants make up 21-percent of New York's population and almost 27-percent of the state workforce.

For more information call 1-888-4-LABOR or logon to the New York State Department of Labor website