Louis Pechman, the founder of Waiterpay, was a featured guest on BK Live’s June 2, 2014 segment on Tipped Wages. The segment focused on pay issues in New York City restaurants, including concerns about the increase in lawsuits for illegal pay practices. Among the topics discussed were the differences between minimum wage and tipped minimum wage, the complicated set of laws involving the tip credit, spread of hours, and other worker rights issues.
In an important decision supporting the rights of undocumented workers for protection under the labor laws, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that undocumented aliens could recover overtime wages due to them under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
The court, in Lamonica v. Safe Hurricane Shutters, Inc., rejected the employer’s argument that two undocumented should be barred from a recovery because they did not accurately report their income to the IRS, used false social security numbers, and were not authorized to work in the United States. The Court explained that the award of unpaid wages does not condone the violation of the immigration laws that have occurred, it merely ensures that the employer does not take advantage of the violation by availing himself of the benefits of undocumented workers’ past labor without paying for it in accordance with minimum FLSA standards.
The immigration status of undocumented workers is irrelevant to claims of unpaid overtime and illegal pay practices, according to the recent decision of Judge Paul Englemayer, a United States District Court Judge in New York.
In the case of Solis v. Cindy’s Total Care, Inc., Judge Englemayer stated: “In this case, an employee’s immigration status, or national origin, is clearly irrelevant to a claim for back pay for overtime wages under the FLSA. By its term, the FLSA applies to ‘any individual’ employed by an employer, as the term ‘employer’ or who are in this country illegally. For this reason, the courts to consider this issue have uniformly held that any person, regardless of his or her immigration status, who is employed by an employer, may pursue an action under the FLSA for work actually performed. Indeed, cases have held that employees’ immigration status or national origin is not even a suitable area for pretrial discovery.”
The Movement to End Wage Theft, a report on minimum wage and overtime violations nationwide, was released this month by the Discount Foundation. The report examines the wage theft movement and strategies that have been developed by workers’ rights organizations and attorneys to combat violations of employment laws.
Judge Bars Discovery Into Immigration Status of Undocumented Workers Who Sued Their Employer For Overtime and Minimum Wage
Judge Thomas E. Boyle, United States Magistrate Judge in the Eastern District of New York last month denied an employer’s request to get discovery of the immigration status of workers who sued their employer for overtime and minimum wage violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).
Judge Boyle’s decision in Uto et al. v. Job Site Services, et ano, Continue reading Judge Bars Discovery Into Immigration Status of Undocumented Workers Who Sued Their Employer For Overtime and Minimum Wage
Last week federal agents arrested 23 people on charges that they smuggled 70 people from China to work in Chinatown restaurants for below minimum wage.
The restaurant owners allegedly targeted undocumented immigrants for work in the restaurants because the restaurant owners knew they could pay these workers below minimum wage. According to a statement released by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, the defendants “allegedly trafficked in human beings, making money off of the backs of illegal immigrants and treating them like chattel.” The arrests mark the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s largest investigation of unauthorized workers in New York.