Virtually every American worker is at risk for some sort of wage discrimination. However, some workers are statistically more likely to suffer this kind of illegal treatment than others. Unfortunately, many of those who are most likely to be taken advantage of are some of the most vulnerable members of the U.S. population.
The Economic Policy Institute recently released a report about the kinds of wage discrimination that legal migrant workers currently face as members of the American workforce. It has long been understood that undocumented workers suffer high rates of illegal wage and hour discrimination. It seems that legal migrant workers face disproportionate rates of discrimination as well.
Unfortunately, when individuals do not speak English proficiently, they may be unable to ask questions about their wages and research their rights. Even if individuals speak English proficiently, they may be afraid to speak up about discriminatory wage and hour issues because they fear losing their jobs. While undocumented workers may fear deportation if they speak up, legal migrant workers similarly worry that losing their jobs may result in losing their visas.
However, it is important to understand that the law protects against illegal wage and hour treatment of workers in America, no matter what immigration status they possess. As a result, it may be highly beneficial to speak with an experienced attorney if you or a loved one is being discriminated against. Speaking with an attorney does not commit you to any course of action but doing so may help you to better understand your rights.
Source: Latin Post, “Temporary Foreign Workers Subjected to Same Wage Discrimination as Undocumented Workers: Report,” Nicole Akoukou Thompson, May 27, 2015