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Immigrants invoke employment law to help recover unpaid wages

All employees have rights in the workplace. These rights help to protect the workers and also the employers. Employment law claims may be appropriate when these rights are violated. One Tennessee business owner is finding herself defending a lawsuit brought by former employees who claim she ran her business like a sweatshop.

Former employees of a local Tennessee sewing factory have filed a lawsuit claiming their ex-employer violated human-trafficking laws while they were in her employment. Not only did their former employer owe them unpaid wages, the employees also cite horrendous working conditions. Some report that the factory was a fire hazard and the employer provided no running water at the facility and no toilet paper for the workers to use, if they were even allowed to use the restroom.

All the workers are undocumented immigrants from Mexico and Guatemala, and they all feared the threats from the employer of calling immigration. Because of these threats and the employees’ immigration status, most stayed on working without pay and in horrendous conditions. The workers are asking for unpaid wages, overtime and punitive damages.

When an employer withholds pay, employees and their families suffer. Not being able to provide food, shelter and clothing because lack of promised pay can really impact families, especially those who are barely getting by. A Tennessee attorney experienced with employment law can help those who find themselves working for an unfit employer. Providing guidance, investigating facts and helping to submit a claim in court could help victims to recover lost or unpaid wages and other applicable monetary damages.

Source: courthousenews.com, “Tennessee Factory Workers Describe Sweatshop Conditions“, Daniel Jackson, May 4, 2018