It is not uncommon or unlawful for a worker to speak up or complain about what they feel may be unfair work practices, such as wage disputes. However, if a worker is undocumented or working in Maryland or elsewhere in the country illegally, complaining or speaking up may be more complicated and can carry serious repercussions. In fact, for one worker who has spoken out about what he deems unfair, deportation could be in his future.
The man involved in this case started working at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center building in Washington, D.C. three years ago. He worked at a fast food stand. He says there was never an issue with his status in this country until he voiced complaints against his employers.
The man contends he is not paid minimum wage as mandated by law and he also complained about lack of genuine overtime pay. After voicing these complaints, he was taken into custody by the Department of Homeland Security. He was held, released and now has a date for a hearing to determine his fate.
The man involved in this case has lost his job and could be facing deportation. Any Maryland workers may want to familiarize themselves with the current immigration laws and regulations that may play a role in their individual situations. They may also want to investigate what the repercussions may be if they speak out about unfair conditions and concurrently do not have legal status to be working the job they are in.
Source: Huffington Post, "Undocumented Worker Alleges Wage Theft, Ends Up In Deportation Proceedings," Dave Jamieson, July 9, 2013