ELIZABETH, N.J. — According to www.newsweek.com, immigrant workers from Caribbean Car Wash are filing a lawsuit against their employer, claiming they have been underpaid for years and were refused pay over overtime.
In a statement provided by Steven Arenson, attorney for the eight workers, the employees claim the carwash paid them less than $5 an hour while also denying overtime pay, despite them working 11-hour days as many as six or seven days a week, the article continued.
“Unfortunately, many workers don’t know their rights and are afraid of being fired if they speak up,” Arenson said in the statement. “The law protects workers who have been paid illegally, regardless of their immigration status, and New Jersey’s new law is designed to protect precisely the kind of low-wage, vulnerable workforce exploited in this case.”
While New Jersey’s minimum wage recently rose to $10 an hour for most workers, it is expected to rise to $15 by 2024, the article added.
In the lawsuit, the workers are seeking unpaid wages and compensation for overtime hours, the article noted.
The litigation comes after Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver signed a bill in early August that cracks down on employers who fail to pay proper wages in an effort to combat “wage theft,” the article stated.
The Democratic-sponsored legislation increases damages and fines against employers who are caught neglecting to pay wages or overtime and provide benefits to workers who are owed money, the article noted.
The bill also allows workers to pursue unpaid wages going back as far as six years, whereas previous laws capped it at two years, the article added.
“We want to send a message to employers — the bad employers — that in New Jersey, we are not going to tolerate the exploitation of any worker,” Oliver said after signing the bill.
Read the original article here.