Nannies, housecleaners, and caretakers all work in a largely unregulated industry – no contracts, timecards or other detailed records.
On its face, the industry seems mutual for both employees and employers.
The employees are generally flexible and willing to work cheaply.
The employers are ready to hire these employees.
Both reap the benefit of not paying tax.
However, workers have few protections and labor violations are very common. Workers are hesitant to come out against their employers because of their financial status and their fear of getting deported.
More and more workers (most of whom are women) are slowly confronting employers, filing wage claims, forming collectives, and pushing for legislation to guarantee more rights.
Rick Oltman, Western field director for the Federation of American Immigration Reform, says that the fact that many undocumented workers are willing to bring their cases to the attention of state officials “shows that they have no fear of our government enforcing our immigration laws.”
Under the law, even undocumented workers are entitled to earn minimum wage ($6.75 an hour) and overtime pay. They also have the right to receive rest and meal breaks.
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