One segment of the American workforce often remains in the shadows: undocumented workers. Their rights and protections are not always evident, even though these individuals are a part of the economy.
According to Pew Research data, more than eight million undocumented workers live in the United States. Those unfamiliar with the rights of these workers should enlighten themselves.
Undocumented workers have the right to demand minimum wage. Federal and state labor laws dictate that every employee must receive at least the base amount for the hours they spend on the job. Immigration status is not an excuse for underpaying employees.
Safety while working is a fundamental right for all, including those lacking documentation. Employers must closely adhere to Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations.
Undocumented workers who clock in for more than 40 hours in a workweek deserve overtime pay. Payment should be at a rate of one and a half times their regular hourly wages. This provision protects laborers from excessive working hours without fair compensation.
Employers cannot mistreat or discriminate against workers based on their immigration status. Discrimination can take many forms, including harassment or unfair treatment. Discriminatory behavior is never acceptable, no matter what form it takes.
Workers reserve the right to file a complaint if they never receive compensation for time on the job. Their immigration status does not negate this privilege. Violators typically have to provide back pay on top of a fine.
Undocumented workers toil away just as hard as natural citizens. Assuring fair treatment for every employee is a humanitarian goal worth achieving.