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U.S., Mexico look to remind all workers of rights

PHOENIX -- Ahead of Labor Day Weekend, the United States and Mexican governments reminded workers Monday that they have rights, no matter their immigration status.

According to federal law, whether workers are documented or undocumented, they have rights. If they work for a covered employer, they are to be paid no less than the minimum wage and overtime if they work more than 40 hours in a week.

Eric Murray with the U.S. Department of Labor said his office is kept very busy with complaints of employers abusing workers. As a recent example, Murray said almost 300 employees at three Octopus Car Wash locations in Tucson received $313,000 in back wages and overtime.

"The employer did not record all of the hours that were actually worked," he said. "The employees were there but not showing up on the time cards. In addition, we found child labor violations. These particular violations they were working more than eight hours a day during the school year. In this case we still are trying to locate to distribute their pay. We're working with the consulates to locate them."

Murray said workers need to know that they can voice concerns about workplace conditions without fear of repercussions about legal status.

About the Author

Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.


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