Rights Of Undocumented Workers In New York State
March 26 2018
You are a construction worker, you do not have a work visa or valid papers, so you are essentially undocumented. However, your employer is more than happy to use your services because he does not have to pay you a minimum wage or overtime. He thinks he has no problem breaking the law because you would be less likely to file complaints because of your undocumented status. However, he is wrong. Undocumented workers are provided with all the rights offered by Federal and New York State law regarding wages and overtime pay.
Under New York Labor Law, undocumented workers are counted as fully-fledged employees and must therefore be treated fairly, which translates into the payment of a statutory minimum wage and fair overtime pay. If an employer did not have to pay the same salary and overtime pay that must be paid to legal workers by law, then the employer could easily exploit undocumented workers in order to increase their earnings at their expense, and have an incentive to hire other undocumented workers, because it would not have to answer to the law for labor abuses against those workers.
The rule is simple and universal in New York State, your job must be paid according to the law. An undocumented worker may work in bars, restaurants, supermarkets, and many other jobs that require little or no prior qualification. In many cases, you are also allowed to obtain tips, which may not be appropriate for your employer under the law. In addition, if you work more than 10 hours per shift on a specific day, you are entitled to remuneration in the form of overtime pay.
Besides, in case you make a claim. The court, in order to protect you from any intimidating acts by your employer, prohibits him from asking questions about your immigration status, social security information, or information relevant to your taxes. It doesn’t matter if you are a citizen by birth, naturalized, or whether you have any type of visa. This information is not in any way relevant to the matter, being the fact that your employer has provided you with the compensation required by law.
The Law is clear!
If you are an undocumented worker, your employer cannot simply take advantage of you by paying you less than the minimum wage, or by denying you adequate compensation for work done by you, solely because of your undocumented status. And likewise, your employer cannot threaten you for filing complaints about the bad treatment you may receive.
The law provides you with legal protections so that you can receive the compensation you deserve. And we’re willing to give you the tools and provide you with all the help you need to get what’s yours!