When you moved to Texas from your home country, your goal was to build a better life for you and your family. You have many opportunities in the United States, but like others, you had to start from the bottom and work your way up. As a farm worker, your skills are necessary for everyone living in the country, but if you are facing wage and hour injustices by your employer, you are unfortunately far from alone.
The National Farm Worker Ministry states that abuse is common among those in the farming industry, especially with immigrants. Your employer may use the threat of deportation as leverage to get you or your co-workers to do what he wants without worrying about reprisal. If you speak up, you might face retaliatory acts, including the following:
- Your employer could withhold your wages or dock your pay by half or more.
- You might experience demotion, have to move to work in an area farther from your home or lose your job.
- Your boss might make you work long hours without giving you overtime pay.
- You could have to work in inhumane or dangerous conditions.
- If room and board is one of the conditions of your employment, you might have to pay a substantial amount for your lodging or have it taken out of your wages.
- You might receive pay that is significantly less than minimum wage.
Like many immigrants, you may not realize your rights regarding reporting injustices, or your employer may have falsely told you that you do not have the same employment rights as American citizens.
You should be treated with dignity and not have to fear punishment by your employer for standing up for yourself or your co-workers. It may be necessary to speak with an attorney with experience in wage and hour law if your employer is violating your rights.