Wage theft is a major problem in Connecticut and across the country. Each year, millions of Americans struggle to survive on low wages, without the benefit of holidays, sick days or even health insurance. Wage theft occurs when employers refuse to pay employees their deserved wages or earned overtime wages. Most often, employers will cheat workers out of earned pay by refusing to pay them for moments preparing the work area or cleaning up the work area after a shift. Although this time might only be minutes, those minutes add up. Workers are entitled to pay for the full amount of their work.
The Yale Daily News is reporting on a lawsuit that was recently filed by five domestic workers in Connecticut. According to the federal wage theft lawsuit, a house-cleaning service called Auntie Bella failed to pay workers fully, denied workers overtime and refused to pay them minimum wage. The plaintiffs to the suit include former employees Rosa Morales, Lujanny Jimenez, Elvira Gutierrez Vargas, Eloisa Guttierrez Vargas, Eloisa Nufio Guttierez and Maribel Mejia. Each of the plaintiffs worked for the cleaning company for at least a few months, and all plaintiffs are expected to testify about their lost wages.
The plaintiffs filed their lawsuit with the help of the New Haven Legal Assistance Association. Commenters hope that this case will spark some attention and perhaps lead Connecticut towards adopting stronger laws surrounding domestic worker wages. Presently, Connecticut excludes domestic workers from coverage under workplace laws, leaving these workers vulnerable to abuse.