Immigrants Entitled to Same Workers’ Rights as U.S. Citizens

Just because an employer enlists the help of undocumented workers does not mean that those workers, typically immigrants, are not entitled to overtime pay and fair wages as dictated by the Fair Labor Standards Act.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, whether or not an immigrant is covered under the FLSA is determined by the individual's status of employment and not by immigration status, which means that immigrants are entitled to overtime pay. Regardless of whether the employee is a legal permanent resident or a U.S. citizen, the FLSA covers the worker.

Unless their circumstances make them fall under a specific exemption, all employees are entitled to the following under the FLSA:

  • The right to be paid one and a half times the hourly rate for hours worked over 40 in one week.

  • The right to be paid a minimum wage, as set by the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor. Currently this federal minimum hourly wage is $7.25.

  • Work generally includes all work performed at home, any waiting time, probationary periods, travel time, and training.

  • Tipped employees must be paid a minimum wage of $2.13. If the employee's tips plus the $2.13 per hour do not equal or exceed the federal minimum wage of $7.25, then the employer must make up the difference.

  • If the employee is a minor, there are other FLSA standards that will protect youth workers, such as limitations on the number of hours per day and week that the child can work, depending on his or her age.

The Houston, Texas fair overtime lawyers at Kennedy Hodges also want to point out that there are strict rules that employers must follow regarding migrant and seasonal workers.

Under the U.S. Department of Labor's Migrant and Seasonal Workers Act, all employers must:

  • Pay their workers the wages they are owed when those wages are due.

  • Make sure that any transportation used for workers is properly insured and driven by a licensed driver. Any vehicle used also must comply with federal and state safety standards.

  • All employees must be provided with the terms and conditions of their employment, in writing.

  • Federal and state health and safety standards must be met if the employer provides housing for migrant workers.

All of these rules were established by the U.S. Department of Labor to protect the rights of all workers, regardless of their nationality or immigration status. If there weren't rules protecting undocumented or non-citizen workers, some employers might only hire undocumented workers and then proceed to treat them unfairly.

If you are a migrant worker in Texas not receiving overtime or a Houston seasonal agricultural worker not making minimum wage, you NEED information. Call Houston's premier overtime attorneys at 888.449.2068, or fill out this online form to set up an appointment and to receive a free copy of Ten Biggest Mistakes That Can Hurt Your Wage and Overtime Claim .