Day laborers and other immigrant workers often work without contracts and for temporary periods, making them especially vulnerable to wage theft by their employers. Many day laborers are recent immigrants to the US and aren’t aware of their right to be paid the minimum wage and work in a safe environment, or what to do if their wages have been stolen.
CUP worked with designer Caroline Oh and Queens-based New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE) to make ¡No me han pagado!, an illustrated, Spanish-language guide to help day laborers protect themselves from wage theft. The project was developed with input from NICE members, who also appear in many of the illustrations. The pocket-sized guide visually explains the specific things that day laborers should be paid for, what to keep track of on the job and at home to better protect oneself, and what to do if one is owed wages.
¡No me han pagado! (I haven’t been paid!) is currently being distributed by NICE and eight other day laborer centers in the New York metropolitan area. In addition to raising awareness about labor rights and how to enforce them, NICE is using the booklet as an organizing tool in their 2014 campaigns to bring workers with wage theft cases together to put pressure on employers, and to improve state agency oversight of wage and hour violations.