Labor Rights of Undocumented Workers in the USA

As an undocumented worker, you have to deal with the knowledge that you aren’t legally allowed to work or be present in the United States and that doing so can lead to severe consequences such as criminal charges or deportation if immigration authorities identify you as an illegal immigrant.

Many of the workers who are employed in the United States don’t have authorization papers. Fortunately, the laws that protect workers in the United States also apply to the undocumented worker, enjoying much of the same rights and benefits that are granted to employees legally authorized to work in the United States.

What are the laws that contain the labor rights of undocumented workers?

Some of the laws that establish the rights of illegal workers are contained in:

  • Federal Law – Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA): It’s a federal law issued by Congress to establish rights related to employment. The Department of Labor (DOL) is in charge of ensuring compliance.
  • Federal Law – National Labor Relations Act (NLRA): The primary purpose of the NLRA is to protect the rights of employees to organize and bargain with their employers. The body in charge of ensuring compliance is the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
  • Federal Law – Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII): Prohibits discrimination in public facilities and establishes the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and it applies to both US citizens and undocumented workers. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the body in charge of ensuring compliance.
  • Federal Law – Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Workers Protection Act (MSPA): Undocumented workers who are also migrant or seasonal workers have rights under the MSPA. The Wage and Hour Division of the United States Department of Labor (WHD) plays an important role in its administration.

Remember that these laws are national. Each state has additional legislation regarding labor and workers.

In general terms, what are the labor rights of undocumented workers?

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Among the labor rights that undocumented workers have we have:

  • The right to receive the minimum wage.
  • The right to be paid overtime when you work it.
  • The right to rest and meal breaks required by law.
  • The right to workers’ compensation benefits if they are injured on the job as an employee.
  • The right to form, attend, join or refrain from joining trade union organizations.
  • The right to work in a safe workplace and to refuse unsafe work that you believe represents an apparent danger to your safety or that of your co-workers.
  • The right to bargain collectively with employers, through representatives of your own choosing.
  • The right not to be subjected to unfair labor practices.
  • The right not to be discriminated against or harassed by your employer, employment agencies or union organizations, because of your race, color, sex, religion or origin.
  • The right to safe housing and transportation, if the employer provides them.
  • The right to be free from retaliation by your employer should he choose to exercise any of his rights under state and federal employment law.

 

At Tramites de Inmigracion USA Corp we firmly believe that you should not renounce your rights due to your undocumented status, because regardless of your immigration status, we can enforce them.

If you have questions about your employment rights or how to apply your rights under federal and state law, consult with our experienced attorneys who can help you navigate this intricate process, while protecting yourself and your future.

We can help you successfully defend your interests! Call 1 (786) 776-7152 or 1 (786) 786-5088.

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