At Romero Law, our dedicated Pasadena employment law attorneys provide legal representation for workers throughout California whose state and federal workplace rights have been violated by their employers. That includes undocumented workers.
No matter where you are from, why you are in California, where you work, or the industry in which you are employed, your immigration status does not affect your workplace rights in California.
Here is what you need to know about your protections, and how to enforce them when they are violated by your employer.
Once a California Employer Hires You, Your Rights are Protected by Federal and State Laws
Regardless of your immigration status, you have the same workplace rights as every other worker in California.
If you are a non-exempt employee, you are afforded legal protections that require:
- A Safe Workplace
- Rest and Meal Breaks
- Minimum Wage and Overtime Pay
- Unemployment Benefits
- Workers’ Compensation Benefits
- The Right to Work Without Being Subjected to Discrimination, Harassment, or Whistleblower Retaliation
One of the most common issues undocumented workers face in California is that their employers fail to pay the prevailing state or local minimum wage requirements. Whether you are an undocumented worker, documented immigrant, or U.S. citizen, by law, you have the right to earn minimum wage.
Which Industries Receive the Highest Citations for Wage Theft?
Some industries inherently lend themselves to the unlawful act of paying workers less than minimum wage. This is often true because the workers are paid cash, or are unlawfully misclassified as independent contractors.
These industries include, but are not limited to:
- Food and Restaurants
Another issue that arises from not being paid minimum wage is that the same pay rate is given to undocumented workers when they are working overtime. This, too, is illegal.
As are off-the-clock violations, which may include being told to work before or after shifts without pay, meal and rest break violations, which deny workers the breaks they are entitled to during shifts, and wage deductions, like failing to payout accurate gratuities.
Why Do California Employers Violate Undocumented Workers’ Rights?
Although absolutely unfair, and completely illegal, California employers often refuse to pay undocumented workers minimum wage or overtime because of their immigration status. This may include threatening arrest or deportation if they contact the authorities to report unlawful activity, which is also illegal.
If you believe your California employer is violating your workplace rights, no matter your immigration status, contact our Los Angeles County employment law attorneys to discuss your legal options today.
Our employment law firm and bilingual staff offer services in both English and Spanish and are available now to discuss your case during a free consultation by calling 626-396-9900 or contacting us online.