In June, 14 7-Eleven stores in New York and Virginia were seized by federal authorities for exploiting over 50 immigrants, according to CNN. In addition to the seizures, nine owners and managers were indicted with charges ranging from identity theft, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and concealing and harboring undocumented immigrants.
The owner-managers forced the immigrants to work 100 hours a week but only paid them a fraction of what they were supposed to pay them. They also made the workers live in and pay rent on boarding houses that they owned. The identities of these workers were concealed using stolen identities, including allegedly that of an eight-year-old child and three dead people. All of this is believed to have gone on for over 13 years.
Despite their illegal immigrant status, the victims of these crimes are the ones who brought the alleged violations to the attention of the authorities.
“Some workers, despite their illegal status, came forward to authorities,” said Loretta Lynch, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. “Every case is going to be looked at individually.”
Immigrants, especially illegal immigrants, are more likely to be subjected to workplace rights violations, such as wage theft, discrimination and harassment. Please contact our firm for more information or a free consultation if your workplace rights were violated.
Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob—Los Angeles employment attorneys