December 3, 2022

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2 immigrant temp employees file lawsuit against Illinois staffing agency

6 min read

Since migrating to the United States practically two a long time in the past, Patricia Martinez, now 55, and a mom of two adult little ones, observed a livelihood operating through staffing businesses. Although some days felt heavier than other folks, she was grateful to have a task even if it meant earning the bare minimum wage.

But after at Superior Staffing — a non permanent employment and staffing company dependent in Elmhurst — Martinez alleges that she professional mistreatment at the firm she was assigned to, and a sudden shell out reduce at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in November 2020.

Martinez stated she began talking up about the alleged mistreatment and soon right after sought legal counsel when she stated she acquired a simply call in June 2021 from the staffing agency telling her her services ended up no more time necessary. Ana Diaz Rivas, 40, echoed Martinez’s statements soon after her wage was also decreased and she was denied perform without recognize, she claimed.

“When they fired me, they didn’t give me a explanation even when I questioned. I realized this was incorrect, and I preferred to know if I had any legal rights,” Martinez said.

On Aug. 23, the two ladies submitted a lawsuit in search of class-motion standing towards Remarkable Staffing and its customer organization FAREVA Morton Grove, a cosmetic and hygiene production company, alleging wage theft and various violations of the Illinois Working day and Temporary Labor Products and services Act.

According to the lawsuit, which could cover at least 100 likewise affected personnel, Martinez and Diaz Rivas had their wages lowered without the need of receiving the legally necessary see below the Illinois Working day and Short term Labor Solutions Act.

The lawsuit, filed in Prepare dinner Place Circuit Courtroom, promises that when Martinez was assigned to work at the beauty enterprise in December 2019, she earned $13 an hour. Three months later, she bought a elevate of 50 cents, but in November of 2020, Remarkable Staffing improved Martinez’s frequent hourly wage to $12 an hour while she was nonetheless contracted to function at FAREVA.

“That $1.50 was the funds I wanted for fuel, for me to be in a position to get to do the job,” Martinez said in Spanish all through a news conference in Little Village very last week.

“I informed them I wouldn’t be able to pay for finding to get the job done. They advised me I experienced no correct to complain mainly because I did not get the job done for the enterprise that I was just a non permanent worker … they instructed me to settle for this or depart. They produced me experience disposable,” she mentioned at the news conference.

Neither Superior Staffing or FAREVA’s corporate offices responded to multiple cellular phone phone calls and quite a few emails requesting comment.

The lawsuit also alleges that Diaz Rivas was told that her $13 an hour wage would be raised 50 cents a few months immediately after her commence day in August 2020, but rather, her hourly shell out was lowered to $12 at the similar time that Martinez’s wage was minimized.

According to the lawsuit, the two staff ended up not paid out for days that they were being assigned to clearly show up at FAREVA but were being turned absent simply because there was no function obtainable. On many instances, Diaz Rivas claimed she and other momentary employees arrived for their change at FAREVA and were being sent absent with no function and no wages. The lawsuit promises that Exceptional Staffing and FAREVA violated Illinois’ short-term staffing law by failing to pay back them for at least four hours of perform at their agreed on fees of fork out on all days that Superior Staffing contracted them to get the job done at FAREVA.

Diaz Rivas reported she sought employment at Excellent Staffing due to the fact it was near to her house and she could be closer to her 3-year-previous son, who has particular demands.

“Besides reducing my pay out without having telling me in advance, I was also turned away from do the job each time they didn’t need to have me. It didn’t matter to them that I however desired to spend my babysitter for a total day,” Diaz Rivas explained, introducing that she stayed at the enterprise since she has a baby to support. She claimed she was explained to in June 2021 that she was no more time essential at the manufacturing company.

While each gals mentioned they ended up assigned to FAREVA by Excellent Staffing, the two did not know each and every other, they reported, and landed at the very same table after seeking for support independently.

Martinez initial contacted the Chicago Community and Workers’ Legal rights business immediately after undertaking investigation on-line, she reported. The group presents steerage to employees regardless of immigration standing and offers sources and collective strategies of resistance from labor rights abuses, according to its web-site.

For Diaz Rivas, the encouragement to look for legal assistance came from her child’s counselor. Just after sharing her expertise at the staffing company and FAREVA, the counselor put her in contact with Chicago Community and Workers’ Legal rights.

It took virtually a 12 months to file the lawsuit, mentioned Mark Birhanu, an lawyer with Increase the Ground Alliance who is representing the gals.

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Raise the Ground Alliance was founded by a coalition of employee centers running through the Chicago area, together with Chicago Community and Workers’ Legal rights, as a shared authorized, policy and arranging source for low-wage staff.

Birhanu explained that the females “are fighting for aid out there to them beneath these guidelines, like an injunction restraining the defendants from continuing legal violations. They are carrying out this so that other staff do not endure what Ms. Diaz Rivas and Ms. Martinez went through.”

Martinez and Diaz Rivas say that other personnel who knowledgeable equivalent remedy as a result of the staffing agency could be frightened to talk up due to the fact they may possibly fear finding fired. They included that for some workers their age or immigration status may well also make it difficult to uncover a career in other places.

“Many keep … because they will need the income,” Martinez reported. The girls say that they hope they can be an illustration for other immigrant and short term staff to be much more conscious of their legal rights.

Non permanent staffing companies in Illinois are not demanded to method their workforce as a result of the E-Verify immigration method that confirms a worker’s identification and allow to do the job in the state. Hence, some immigrants flip to momentary agencies for work. Not making use of E-Validate may perhaps permit some firms to get advantage of some susceptible staff, explained Martin Unzueta, the executive director of Chicago Group and Workers’ Rights.

“It is not fair that we are treated as disposable workers. Quite a few instances we do not complain, but discrimination and exploitation are present each individual day and at all times versus us,” Unzueta explained. He encouraged personnel who imagine their legal rights have been violated to reach out to companies like Chicago Group and Workers’ Rights.

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