Wage and Hour Theft Affects Texas Immigrant Workers

An immigrant worker in Texas experienced wage and hour theft when his employer reportedly failed to compensate him and other contractors for his efforts. The situation occurred when the worker received his paycheck for a 40-hour workweek and had only been paid $100. The man claims that while other workers felt demoralized, he became angry at what he saw as wage and hour theft.

He explained that the inability to properly compensate the workers resulted in the inability for them to provide food and necessities for their families. The legal immigrant worker paired up with other coworkers and proceeded in small claims court against his former employer. Reports indicate that he did receive the wages he had been denied.

Statistics reveal that low-income employees are often the ones most affected by wage theft. Wage theft occurs when an employer does not compensate an employee or worker their legally required pay. Although wage theft laws are in place to protect workers, it can be difficult for an employer to be exposed unless the worker is willing to report it.

Regardless of a person's immigration status, they are entitled to the wages they have rightfully earned. A person may be fearful of making a wage and hour theft claim for many reasons, including job security, citizenship, or financial need. Some people may choose to make a report to the Texas Workforce Commission in an attempt to recover their missing wages, but they may be limited as they work through the lengthy process. This may lead a worker who has not received their rightful pay to seek professional help to enforce their legal rights.

Source: newamericamedia.org, "Immigrant Workers Fight Wage Theft in Texas", Amy Roe, Oct. 26, 2014

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