"Laborers" Sue For Overtime Pay
A federal lawsuit filed in Greenbelt alleges that a Maryland company that paints luxury condominiums in the District defrauded Latino immigrant workers who routinely worked 60 hours or more a week by failing to pay them overtime.I'm really torn on this, I do think the "laborers" are absolutely entitled to their wages, legal, illegal, in this context makes no difference. However, I'm not entirely comfortable with folks here illegally having access to our courts in this way, I feel the "immigrant rights" groups use these suits to break down the traditional idea of sovereignty and citizenship.
The company, SCCP Painting Contractors Inc., also allegedly did not pay the four plaintiffs named in the suit for their final two weeks of work. One of the workers, Ivan Aplicano, 34, of Gaithersburg said in an interview yesterday that he worked 113 hours during his last two weeks with the company. Its refusal to pay him after he was fired in April meant he was unable to send money to his native Honduras to help pay for the burial of his mother, Aplicano said. *snip*
"They bring in groups of workers for large jobs and, when they're done, they fire them," Varela said. Virtually all of the workers are Latino immigrants, she said, and many are day laborers.
Varela and Anne E. Langford, a lawyer with the firm that collaborated in filing the lawsuit, declined to say whether Aplicano or any of the other three named plaintiffs are in the country without proper documentation.
Varela said the workers' immigration status is irrelevant to the lawsuit: "They're entitled to their wages for their labor."
I direct your attention to the phrase the "workers' immigration status is irrelevant." No, it's never irrelevant, never.
The ultimate irony to me is I think some folks are astonished by the behavior of the business owners, why? It is a fact of human nature, if an individual displays unethical behavior in one situation, you are almost guaranteed they will display it in another. It borders on the axiomatic.
Perhaps we wouldn't have these moral conundrums if our government had been doing it's job in the first place?
I give the Wapo, who tends to be pretty good on illegal immigration issues an attaboy for at least asking the immigration status of the "laborers," but I'm still forced to ask...this.
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