Filipino workers sue Carlton Cleaners

Published by rudy Date posted on March 27, 2011

NEW YORK, NY – Dozens of Filipino migrant workers said to be employed at several locations of Carlton Cleaners in New York City claim to work below minimum wage and don’t even get overtime pay.

Guillermo Suarez and Ronaldo Pabello are among the workers who are suing their employer for allegedly violating the Minimum Wage Law and not paying them proper overtime wages

Suarez was hired as a delivery boy in January last year. He claims to work for 12 hours a day, 6 days a week.

But when the owners sold their business last week, Suarez said he was among those terminated.

It was only after he sought the services of a New York lawyer Herbert Tan that he realized that his $5 dollars-an-hour pay was way below the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

“Ang habol ko lang magka-trabaho, so any way na makakuha ako ng trabaho, makakuha ako ng suweldo, masaya na ako. Hindi ako gaanong aware sa mga rights, like minimum wage,” Suarez said.

Meantime, Pabello said Carlton Cleaners owes him $168, 620.40 in back wages and unpaid overtime.

“Ang gusto ko lang mangyari, makuha ko yung tamang binabayad sa amin,” Pabello lamented.

In a lawsuit filed on Friday at the US District Court of New York, Atty. Herbert Tan said his clients want to have a trial by jury and are demanding overtime pay.

“If you’re working in the US, even if you’re here illegally, let me make that very clear… you are entitled to protection under the Fair Labor Standards Act, also under New York’s Labor Law,” Tan said.

Tan added that there were others who backed out from the lawsuit because they’re afraid of jeopardizing their legal status.

Balitang America visited a few Carlton Cleaners, but employees and supervisors declined to provide the owner’s contact information. –Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

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