If your employer is not paying you overtime wages you have earned, isn't paying you the appropriate minimum wage, is forcing you to work off the clock or is deducting inappropriately from your paycheck, that's less money you have to take home to your family, pay your bills and get a secure financial foothold for your future. That's not only isn't fair, it's against the law.
It can be scary to think about filing a complaint, wondering if you could be fired, demoted or worse. You may even fear that an employer could turn you in to immigration in retaliation for reporting a valid issue. It's important to understand that even if your immigration status makes you vulnerable, you are still protected by the law. It is illegal for your employer to use your immigration status as a weapon if you assert your employment rights. More specifically, your employer cannot:
- Report or threaten to report an employee to immigration for reporting an employment violation. Employers also cannot report or threaten to report an employee's family member, former employees or potential employees.
- Request documents above and beyond what is required by federal immigration law
- Refuse to accept documents that would appear to be valid
- Unfairly request to re-investigate an employee's employment verification status
While it is understandable to fear the potential consequences of reporting an employment violation, it is important to understand that you have rights. If your employer is not paying you what you have earned, they are not holding up their end of the bargain. You do not have to accept this treatment for yourself and your family. An experienced employment lawyer can help you understand your options, and how you can assert your rights while being protected by the law.