Undocumented immigrants often face injustices on the job

Many undocumented immigrants face injustices on the job. These often include working in dangerous conditions, low wages and employer retaliation.

Life is often not easy for people who come to the United States in search of the American dream. They may face such difficulties as language barriers, cultural difference and social prejudice. Immigrant workers often face additional challenges, especially if they are undocumented. Many times, employers take advantage of immigrant employees in Tennessee, mistreating them and denying them basic rights that every worker in the country should have, regardless of legal status.

Workplace Fairness estimates there are about 6.5 million undocumented immigrant workers in the country. A large number of them face abuse on the job, including dangerous conditions, low pay and other injustices that their employers would not think of inflicting upon native-born workers.

Common injustices faced by immigrant workers

Difficulties speaking English, lack of knowledge of America's laws protecting workers and fear of reprisal are many reasons immigrant workers put up with substandard working conditions. These often include the following:

· Being paid less than minimum wage or being denied pay or overtime for work put in

· Not having access to safety equipment or training that can make a dangerous job safer

· Being forced to work long hours without compensation

· Not being allowed restroom or meal breaks

· Discipline for participating in unions or attempting to form a union

The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee states that everyone in America, including undocumented immigrants, has the right to certain protections on the job. These include a safe workplace, a minimum wage, overtime in most cases and protection from discrimination and harassment. Additionally, workers have the right to join a union and, in some cases, to form a union. However, many employers attempt to discourage union activity.

Speaking out may lead to more abuse and threats

Unfortunately, immigrants who complain about unlawful employer activity may face retaliation. Unscrupulous employers often know that undocumented workers fear the threat of deportation. They may threaten to call immigration authorities when workers complain or stand up for their rights. Other common forms of employer retaliation against immigrants include withholding their pay, making them work longer hours, putting them in dangerous situations or terminating them without notice.

Undocumented immigrants should not be forced to work in inhumane conditions because of their legal status. Standing up for basic rights can be a daunting and complex process. An experienced Tennessee immigration attorney may be able to assist workers who are being mistreated, by explaining their rights and holding abusive employers accountable for their actions.