These workers are entitled to many of the same legal protections as other workers.
For example, minimum wage and overtime laws (hours worked over 40 in a work week) protect workers regardless of immigration status, as do most local, state and federal laws that protect workers from discrimination and sexual harassment. Workers are protected even if they were paid in cash and do not have proof of employment, such as paystubs or timecards.
In fact, many state and federal courts have held that a worker’s immigration status is irrelevant to claims for unpaid wages, as well as most claims for discrimination or sexual harassment. Because it is irrelevant, these courts have held that questions about a worker’s immigration status are not permitted, and that this information does not need to be disclosed.
Attorneys at Virginia & Ambinder, LLP are especially skilled advocates for workers without proper legal papers. Virginia & Ambinder, LLP serve as labor law consultants for numerous South American and Central American Consulates in New York and provide free and confidential consulting hours at these consulates every week.
If you are an undocumented worker and think that your employer is not paying you proper wages, or if you may be experiencing discrimination or sexual harassment in the workplace, contact us to schedule an initial consultation. Our office hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., with weekend and late-evening appointments available by pre-arrangement. All of our consultations are free and confidential. Spanish, Polish and Russian language services are available.