Who to contact, what action to take? Please help me help a friend.

Asked over 1 year ago - Auburn, WA

My friend recently told me that her employer had checked her documents at work, he found out she's illegally working. He decided to keep her and pay her under the table, but now he's taking advantage of her situation. He now makes her do double the work, she's a housekeeper at a hotel. He gives her double the amount of rooms to clean, makes her do maintenance work, he doesn't even pay her the minimum wage sometimes he doesn't pay her all her hours only some of them and when she asks about her missing hours he'll simply say she doesn't even have the rights to work or be in this country. She came to me for help. I wish I knew what to do, who to call but I dont. I feel very bad for her. I told her to quit but that's not an option she has 3 kids she needs to provide for. Please help!

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Fareesh S. Sarangi

    Pro

    Contributor Level 13

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Unfortunately there are no easy answers to the dilemma your friend is facing. There are many low or no fee immigrant legal clinics, and I am sure there is one in the WA area that caters to her country of origin, or will advise her. Good luck.

    * Please note that I am an Attorney practicing in Georgia, but I am not your attorney. This post is intended to... more
  2. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Most federal and state labor laws do not discriminate with regard to immigration status.

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  3. Sasha O. Lazarevich-Sinnott

    Contributor Level 12

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . This situation is complicated as your friend does not have legal status and may fear that her boss will retaliate against her. As others have suggested she should try a legal clinic.

    I know of one clinic in WA but I'm not sure they handle the type of issue that your friend is facing. Maybe they know of an organization that does? Here is their link: http://www.nwirp.org

  4. Robert Daniel Kelly

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Perhaps it would be possible for your friend to get permission from the Immigration and Naturalization Service to live and work in the USA, or maybe she should try to find employment elsewhere.

    [In accordance with the Avvo community guidelines, this communication does not constitute "legal advice", nor does... more

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