There has been a history of abuse of immigrants who come [to the United States] to work.
As a result, there are numerous laws on the matter in New Jersey to protect this vulnerable group who were once ignored by the court systems because of who they are. Undocumented immigrants are more prone to abuse because they are the most reluctant to report it because of their status and fear of deportation. There are laws that have been put in place that protects all immigrants from unspeakable abuses that they may have suffered in the past. Here is a look at some of the abuses and the laws that are in place to protect you.
One problem with immigrants is what is known as “stolen wages”. This name refers to various situations including being paid less than minimum wage, unpaid wages, and withholding the last paycheck just to name a few circumstance this applies to. There are both state and federal laws that are in place that requires employers to pay both minimum wage and overtime to their workers. None of these laws stipulate “unless you are not an American citizen”, which gives you the right to sue if you are not being paid fairly.
Immigrants are also protected by anti-discrimination laws just like natural born citizens. The problem is that this can be a bit harder to pursue in court if you are an immigrant. There have been some successful court proceedings at the higher courts that can be used, including the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and Title VII, which makes discrimination against a person illegal, based on their race or their lineage.
Another couple of laws that you need to consider when dealing with matters of immigrant abuse are the Occupational Safety and Health Act (otherwise known as OSHA) and the National Labor Relations Act. OSHA is one that is especially noteworthy as these immigrants are often working in jobs that can be more dangerous. OSHA protects all workers (immigrants and American citizens) from unsafe work environments that can cause a great deal of harm and make employers liable for these conditions.
When a report is made against an employer for abusing immigrants, there are various fines and sentences that they will get if they are found guilty of these violations. You will need to find an attorney that specializes in matters regarding immigration to help you with your complaint. This type of experience is going to be essential in getting your case right. There are a lot of laws regarding immigration which is exactly why you need a good lawyer on your side.
They can let you know your rights regarding employment and immigration abuses as well as help you know how strong your claim is. The lawyer can even walk you through the complaint process. Lawyers in this field know just how sensitive cases can be as well as the repercussions that come from filing a complaint as an undocumented worker.
By Williams Law Group, LLC
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