The statute of limitations in NY is 6 years and usually 3 years in Federal Court. The laws are very strict against employers when it comes to these issues. You are likely owed twice any underpayment as well as statutory fines of up to $10,000.00.
I suggest you contact an experienced employment/labor attorney. Many of us provide free consultations, and often take these cases on a contingent fee basis, meaning attorney fees aren't billed to you but are taken as a percentage of your recovery.
Your guardian is correct. You can't waive the right to be paid for your work.See question
There are a lot of issues to be explored regarding your situation. If your surgery factored into your termination, you make have a disability discrimination case. Perhaps more importantly, it sounds like you are probably owed unpaid overtime, and are likely owed liquidated damages in an amount equal to your compensatory damages, as well as statutory fines related to mandatory documents. You should call an experienced labor/employment attorney ASAP.See question
There are many employment/labor attorneys who represent employers, many who represent employees, and many who represent both.See question
The wage and hour laws prohibit use of a person's immigration status as a defense. You have the same right to be paid as anyone else. At this point, you are probably eligible for liquidated damages amounting to twice the underpayment. You should contact an experienced employment/labor attorney.See question
If you worked more than 40 hours per week, you are likely owed back overtime. That can amount to twice the underpayment plus statutory fines. And they can't get out of it be adding you to a different payroll. You should contact an experienced labor/employment attorney.See question
What you are describing sounds very unlawful. You are likely owed all of underpayment, plus liquidated damages equal to the amount of the underpayment, plus statutory fines amounting to between $5,000 and $10,000, and possibly more. You should contact an experienced employment/labor attorney ASAP.See question
Yes (assuming the employer did not have a discriminatory motive that you didn't mention in your question).See question
Your termination was only unlawful if it was done for a discriminatory or retaliatory reason -- i.e., if it was based on your race, age, gender, medical background, etc., or if it was in retaliation for making a complaint about one of these things. If, however, your former employer wasn't paying you or others at minimum wage, or wasn't paying overtime at a premium rate, he may be liable under federal and state law (assuming the workers in question were not "exempt," which is very fact specific). Generally, employers who fail to properly pay minimum wage or overtime owe the amount of the underpayment as well as an additional, equal amount, called "liquidated damages."See question
It sounds like you need a private investigator.See question