The illegal alien from Guatemala spoke to the Boston Globe anonymously because he feared deportation.
“I was just collecting what was rightfully owed to me,” he said in Spanish. “They already pay us a miserable amount of money. Why do they have to rob us?”
The alien spent years at a Super 88 supermarket seafood counter earning $6 an hour instead of the state’s $8 an hour minimum wage. He grew frustrated as the supermarket did not compensate him for his overtime work.
One day, he decided to gather his pay stubs into a plastic bag and deliver them to a lawyer—who turned them over to the state attorney general’s office.
To his surprise, Super 88 was ordered to provide back pay and fines of $200,000 to more than 300 workers, the Globe reported.
Illegal aliens now make up 17 percent of Massachusetts’ workers—twice the state’s 1980 workforce. Authorities have expressed concern that employers sometimes exploit illegals because they believe aliens will not report them to state labor authorities.
According to the report, Attorney General Martha Coakley has staffed bilingual employees, allowed complaints to be filed in 90 languages and provided logbooks to nonprofit organizations to help illegal aliens track their hours.
In November, 764 former workers at a New Bedford factory raided by U.S. immigration agents won an $850,000 settlement. The company was forced to pay overtime wages.
In May, C-Mart Supermarket in Chinatown was forced to pay $66,000 for not adhering to state minimum wage.
Steve Kropper, cochair of Massachusetts Citizens for Immigration Reform, said illegals are not entitled to minimum wage because they are not citizens.
“No government resources should be devoted to the rights of people who are here illegally,” he said. “They broke the law by being here. They had no right to the job.”