Thursday, March 26, 2009

FLSA Protects Undocumented Aliens

Ideally, an employee is paid for work rendered in excess of his/her working hours.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires an employer to pay its non-exempt employees 1 ½ times their regular hourly pay for work in excess of 40 hours in any workweek.

In a Miami Case, two undocumented employees of Mr. Clean Laundry Shop sued the company for unpaid overtime and liquidated damages. Plaintiffs Jacqueline Galdames and Guillermo Osorio work included washing, drying, pressing, and folding linens and clothing.

United States District Judge Marcia G. Cooke denied the laundry company’s request for summary judgment.

The laundry company pushed the principle adopted by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Hoffman Plastic Compounds, Inc. v. N.L.R.B., 535 U.S. 137 (2002) that illegal aliens could not sue under FLSA.

Judge Cooke ruled that although plaintiffs were not US citizens, FLSA protects them as well. Undocumented employees have the right to file court claims for overtime compensation same with documented ones.