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U.S., Mexico look to remind all workers of rights

PHOENIX — Ahead of Labor Day Weekend, the United States and Mexican governments reminded workers Monday that they have rights, no matter their immigration status.

According to federal law, whether workers are documented or undocumented, they have rights. If they work for a covered employer, they are to be paid no less than the minimum wage and overtime if they work more than 40 hours in a week.

Eric Murray with the U.S. Department of Labor said his office is kept very busy with complaints of employers abusing workers. As a recent example, Murray said almost 300 employees at three Octopus Car Wash locations in Tucson received $313,000 in back wages and overtime.

“The employer did not record all of the hours that were actually worked,” he said. “The employees were there but not showing up on the time cards. In addition, we found child labor violations. These particular violations they were working more than eight hours a day during the school year. In this case we still are trying to locate to distribute their pay. We’re working with the consulates to locate them.”

Murray said workers need to know that they can voice concerns about workplace conditions without fear of repercussions about legal status.