Illegal immigrants can sue their employers for non-payment of wages
According to one recent study, unauthorized immigrants make up 5.8 percent of Florida’s workforce. Ineligible for benefits such as food stamps or welfare, many illegal aliens have no choice but to work to put food on the table. Many employers, faced with rising overhead, are quick to pay these workers “under the table.”
However, one common risk illegal aliens face is non-payment. Employers, already having no documentation on the illegal aliens they hire, will sometimes flatly deny that the employment relationship existed or that the workers ever performed the work.
Legally, however, illegal aliens who perform work but do not get paid do have options. In June of 2011, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals reiterated a 1988 case in holding that illegal aliens are “employees” covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Galdames v. N & D Inv. Corp., 432 Fed.Appx. 801, 804 (11th Cir. 2011) (citing Patel v. Quality Inn South, 846 F.2d 700 (11th Cir.1988)).