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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

New York Bar Foundation Presents Grant to Catholic Migration Services

Foundation Board member Martin Minkowitz, center, presents a grant to David Colodny, Director of Legal Services of Catholic Migration Services, left, and Father Patrick Keating, CEO of Catholic Migration Services. Photo: Nancy Pardo

From The New York Bar Foundation: The New York Bar Foundation recently presented a grant of $2,500 to Catholic Migration Services, Brooklyn. The grant will be used to support their Immigrant Workers’ Rights Program.

“Catholic Migration Services greatly appreciates the New York Bar Foundation’s critical support of our Immigrant Workers’ Rights Program,” states Father Patrick Keating. “The Foundation’s grant will support efforts to help low-wage workers who have fallen victim to wage theft, and to help educate hundreds of other workers about their rights in the workplace, such as their right to receive the minimum wage and overtime, and to work in safe conditions.”

In early 2017, The New York Bar Foundation allocated more than $640,000 in grants to programs across New York State. These grants assist in:

  • Increasing public understanding of the law
  • Improving the justice system and the law
  • Facilitating the delivery of legal services
  • Enhancing professional competence and ethics

The New York Bar Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the New York State Bar Association. To learn more about The Foundation and how you can support its charitable programs, go to www.tnybf.org, phone 518-487-5651 or email nybarfoundation@tnybf.org.

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Join Us for the Sunset Reception 2017

Catholic Migration Services is honored to host our annual Sunset Reception on Thursday, June 22, 2017 at the Pierrepont House in Brooklyn Heights, NY. As is customary, our attorney’s will share information about each of our program areas, covering immigration, tenant advocacy and workers’ rights.

The event brings together legal professionals seeking to expand their work in the non-profit industry. Be sure to save your spot and fill out the form below.

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