Illegal immigrants working for Rosenbaum-Cunningham International (RCI), a janitorial contractor based in Palm Beach, FL, have filed a federal lawsuit seeking back wages for work they did in restaurants in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and other cities.
Federal officials detained the workers in raids in February and deported many before they received their final paychecks. Attorneys for the plaintiffs are seeking class-action status for roughly 200 employees.
Dave & Busters, Inc., a restaurant chain with a popular waterfront eatery in Philadelphia, hired workers through RCI, but denies any liability for back wages. “They are not the employer,” company counsel said.
The workers’ attorneys disagree, saying the Fair Labor Standards Act applies to restaurants that subcontracted them. “If someone else is supervising the work, telling this person what to do, they’re on the hook for overtime and minimum-wage violations,” one plaintiff’s lawyer said.
It’s enough to make a case, so beware. You may be liable for the employment activities of any firms that provide workers for your company.