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Katz announces inaugural Know Your Rights Week campaign

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz’s Immigration Task Force is organizing a series of free informational “Know Your Rights” workshops and confidential legal clinics for immigrants from June 25 to June 29 and Catholic Migration Services has partnered with with the Borough President to bring these much needed services to the community. Taking part in a resource fair and one-on-one consultations, immigrants are encouraged to attend, seek resources and legal advice on immigration, housing and workers’ rights.

Read the full article via the Times Ledger: Katz announces inaugural Know Your Rights Week campaign

Free Immigrant Workshops 6/25-29

In a joint effort with Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, Catholic Migration Services will participate in Know Your Rights Week in conjunction with U.S. Congressmember Gregory Meeks, U.S. Congressmember Grace Meng and in partnership with State Senator Michael N. Gianaris, State Senator Jose Peralta, State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, State Assemblymember Jeffrion Aubry, City Councilmember Daniel Dromm, and City Councilmember Rory Lancman.

Thursday, June 28th – Immigration Resource Fair
Queens Center Mall, Macy’s Wing at 90-15 Queens Blvd. in Elmhurst
4:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.: Level 3 – Legal Clinic on Housing and Employment
4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.: Level 2 – Organization Resource Tables
Walk-ins only
Languages: English, Spanish, Mandarin, Bengali, Korean, Russian, Tagalog, & Croatian

Friday, June 29th – One-on-one Consultations for those in Removal Proceedings or Seeking Asylum
Catholic Migration Service, Queens Office at 47-01 Queens Blvd., Suite 203B in Sunnyside

Read the full story via the Queens Chronicle: Free Immigrant Workshops 6/25-29
Click here to download the event flyer as a PDF.

Bronx Diner Workers Win Class Action Suit in Federal Court for Six Years in Owed Wages

PS and FP contacted Catholic Migration Services in May 2015. They and their coworkers had been working 50 to 64 hours per week at a diner in the Bronx, earning between $1.75 and $2.00 per hour. After meeting with our attorneys, it was explained to them that they were owed a significant amount of wages nor could not be fired for filing a complaint or lawsuit to recover the money owed. Eleven additional workers with similar complaints about their pay later came forward. In July 2015, Catholic Migration Services and the firm, Cohen, Weiss & Simon filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of approximately eighty to one hundred workers, most of whom were Mexican Nationals, who had been employed by the diner over the past six years, and had suffered significant minimum wage and overtime violations, in federal court. The case was later settled for $900,000, including fees and costs.

For more on the case and to view the official complaint, click here.

 

Labor Violations Case Settled for Employees Against Chain of Manhattan Pharmacies

In 2017, Catholic Migration Services filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of four employees, who stocked shelves and made deliveries for a chain of Manhattan pharmacies. Throughout their employment, the workers were not paid the applicable minimum wage and were never compensated with overtime pay, although they typically worked over sixty hours per week. In response to these labor violations, our attorneys sent a letter to the Employer advising him of these legal violations, the Employer made threats against the workers and sought to interfere with their current employment. After filing a case at the Southern District of New York, the case was settled for $92,500.00

For more on the case and to view the official complaint, click here.

 

Salon Employee Seeks Legal Assistance and Wins Wage-Hour Violations and Retaliation Claim

For over six years, MR, an immigrant from El Salvador, worked at a hair salon in Flushing, Queens. MR worked on average 70 hours per week washing customers’ hair and cleaning the store. She was paid less than $6 per hour, well below the state minimum wage and never received overtime pay. MR was never permitted to take a lunch break and often ate standing up. While she was also required to apply harsh chemicals treatments on clients, which resulted in headaches, watery eyes, and chapped hands, the employer never provided her with protection. MR finally complained to her employer about the low pay, long hours, and unsafe working conditions. As a result, her employer fired her. When the employer found out that MR was hired at another salon, the employer contacted the new salon and said that MR was a bad employee and had reported her former employer to the government. The new employer then fired MR.

MR came to Catholic Migration Services for legal help in April 2015. Catholic Migration Services agreed to file a complaint on her behalf with the New York State Department of Labor (NYS DOL). An attorney at our organization provided advocacy to ensure that DOL’s investigation would encompass six years of wage-hour violations, rather than three years typically investigated, and that the agency would investigate her retaliation claim. MR’s former employer agreed to pay a total of $44,182.50 in owed wages and liquidated damages, and an additional $12,500 in damages for the retaliation.

New York Officials Battle Wage Theft in Construction Industry

A proud win for clients featured in this article about wage theft in the construction industry. Catholic Migration Services alongside NICE (New Immigrant Community Empowerment Coalition) helped some of the Whisk Remodeling workers file claims with the New York Department of Labor, and also advocated to the New York Attorney General. The contractor pleaded guilty to defrauding it’s workers, and admitted owing them $90,000 in unpaid wages.

Read the full story from The New York Times: New York Officials Battle Wage Theft in Construction Industry