The Colorado Independent: Big win for immigrant workers in Aurora wage theft case

Ian Pajer-Rogers |

From The Colorado Independent:

by Bree Davies

Getting paid can be complicated for salaried immigrant workers – frequent victims of wage theft.

Take the story of Walter Mancia. After years of working long hours at Carniceria y Verduleria Guadalajara, a grocery store in Aurora, his salary wasn’t adding up. Money he was owed was missing. So, two years ago, he and more than 40 other employees of the store who had worked there since 2009 took their complaints to court.

Last Friday, Colorado’s U.S. District Court approved a total settlement for the recovery of $305,000 in back wages and penalties for Mancia and his colleagues.

Employees involved in the suit worked for Carniceria y Verduleria Guadalajara starting in 2009, and were eligible for a portion of the money based on their hours worked.

“Workers are entitled to minimum wage and overtime regardless of their immigration status. I think that often, both employers and employees think that they don’t have any protections because they may be undocumented, but that’s not the case,” said Nina DiSalvo, lawyer and executive director of Towards Justice, the organization that served as Mancia’s counsel.

“Even if you are making a salary, it still has to add up to minimum wage. You still are entitled to overtime. And if it doesn’t add up enough to compensating you, it’s illegal.”

Read the full story from The Colorado Independent.