NewYork Times and
Huffington Post articles have focused on the prevalence of
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) violations amongst low wage laborers, often immigrants.
The FLSA provides many guarantees – including the guarantee of minimum
wages and overtime compensation for non-exempt employees who work more
than 40 hours in a work in any work-week. The FLSA also sets forth child
According to these articles, along with much anecdotal evidence, many of
these workers face “constant and commonplace” workplace exploitation.
In fact, in one group of workers interviewed none had ever been paid overtime,
many were routinely hired the least desirable takes, and were sometimes
forced to work on their one free day. One man reported “working
12 hours/day, seven days a week, and paid only $4/hour. ”
Unscrupulous employers may exploit these workers, taking advantage of employees
due to their limited knowledge of employment laws and perhaps their undocumented
status. U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis has recently launched a wage
and hour campaign to raise awareness that labor laws protect all workers,
regardless of immigration status.
However, exploitation occurs across all sectors where employers fail to
pay all the compensation employees are due.
Further when “wage theft” occurs, everyone in the community
suffers. While referencing New York, the same impact can occur in Atlanta,
or any city where employees are denied a fair wage. A survey prepared
by the National Employment Law Project (NELP) explains:
“Low-income families spend the large majority of the earnings on
basic necessities, such as food, clothing and housing. Their expenditures
circulate through local economies, supporting businesses and jobs. Wage
theft robs local communities of this spending, and ultimately limits economic
growth and vitality in …neighborhoods.”
The bottom line – almost every employee who works for a wage in
the United States is entitled to protection under the FLSA, including
minimum wages and overtime compensation.
If you believe you have been denied all compensation due, contact
The Buckley Law Firm, LLC, dedicated to protecting employee’s rights.