Victories and the National Day of Action against Wage Theft

It’s that time of year again!  Thursday, November 18th is the National Day of Action against Wage Theft.  The Day of Action is organized by Interfaith Worker Justice, a national organization committed improving working conditions for low-wage workers.   As you can see on their website, organizations around the country are holding actions around the country to raise the profile of wage theft and ensure employers know we’re fighting back!

This year, the Committee will be hosting the first annual Wage Theft Awards. Join us at the Federal Court Plaza (the corners of San Antonio Ave, Magoffin Ave., and Campbell Street) to show your support for workers rights in the El Paso region and find out the winners of our awards, all of whom stand out as egregious violators in a sea of unjust employers.   As of today, the event is being co-sponsored by Paso del Norte Civil Rights Project, the Retail Workers Rights Committee, Annunciation House, and the Asociación de Trabajadores Fronterizos.  If your organization is interested in being a co-sponsor, please contact Shalini Thomas at shalini.e.thomas@gmail.com or call us at 915-532-3799 x 10.

We hope to see you there!

In other news, a big congratulations to Labor Justice Committee member Landy Mendoza who successfully sued her employer in Justice of the Peace court!

Paso del Norte Civil Rights Project law clerk Jillian Tuck, Labor Justice Committee member Josefina Torres, PDN Economic Justice Advocate Alyssa Telander, Committee member Landy Mendoza, and PDN Economic Justice Attorney Chris Benoit outside JP Court after their victory!

Landy came to the Committee because her employer hadn’t paid her in over two months.  As we talked about her case, we realized that even when her employer was paying her, he was paying her less than minimum wage. After accepting her case,  the Committee contacted Landy’s employer, Hector Sanchez.  Mr. Sanchez initially agreed to negotiate with Landy and the Committee.  While he admitted he owed her wages multiple times, he continually refused to pay her.  After two negotiations, Mr. Sanchez stopped responding to Committee phone calls.    The Committee held multiple vigils outside of Ms. Sanchez’ business address, but he still refused to respond.

Finally, the Committee decided to take the case to Justice of the Peace court.  As it was our first case in front of JP Court, we asked Paso del Norte Civil Rights attorney Chris Benoit for his assistance.  Thanks to his efforts, along with Landy’s courage, and testimony from Labor Justice Committee member Josefina Torres, Landy won a judgment against Mr. Sanchez for unpaid wages, damages, and attorney’s fees!

As we grow, we are finding more ways and having more successes in recovering unpaid and underpaid wages.   However, we can’t do this on our own!  We hope you join us at the National Day of Action against Wage Theft as we not only call on employers to stop their abuses, but also call on public officials at the Department of Labor to enforce the laws we have, and make changes to better protect workers.

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