It may not be widely known that many immigrants in California and other states are being shoveled into jobs where they do the unsavory work that Americans often will not do. For the privilege, the man or woman receive an hourly wage rate that is far less than minimum wage. Many of them may find that they have a claim for employment discrimination against the employer for treating them differently than similarly situated Caucasians.
In another state, authorities found that kind of widespread discrimination and sued three employment agencies for discriminatory treatment of immigrant Latino workers. The state authorities claimed that the agencies profited by taking “desperately poor” Latinos and placing them in restaurant jobs that paid them as little as $3.50 per hour. They were required to work 14-hour days and were housed in overcrowded, unhealthy and filthy conditions.
The federal lawsuit filed in Chicago claims that the agencies attracted homeless Mexicans who moved from city to city looking for work. They agencies charged the workers $10 dollars a night to sleep on the floor while waiting for work. They also allegedly assessed other job referral charges and fees that made the workers hopelessly indebted to the agencies, according to the lawsuit.
The suit also charges two buffet restaurants with abusing desperate, poverty-stricken workers, harassing them and creating a hostile work environment. The restaurants made the workers live in overcrowded and squalid housing conditions. The lawsuit, filed by the state attorney general, alleged that all defendants were guilty of racial and national origin employment discrimination and labor law violations. The suit seeks injunctive relief, lost wages, penalties and punitive damages on behalf of the abused workers. The same types of remedies are available in California through state and federal employment discrimination actions.