Workers share stories of lost wages
A former employee of LaMac Cleaners in Lynnhurst and Tangletown went to court this month asking for thousands in overtime pay she said she was shorted over the course of five years.
“We knew that we were entitled to it, but out of need we never said anything,” said the woman, who spoke through a translator and requested not to print her name.
Since taking a different job, she’s brought hundreds of pay stubs in to Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha (CTUL), the nonprofit that translates as The Center of Workers United in Struggle. She showed the court pay stubs that initially list all hours paid at one rate — 97 hours in a two-week pay period at $12 per hour, for example. Later pay stubs document 80 hours per pay period, she said, with her overtime hours switched to a separate line item called “Commissions” also paid without a time-and-a-half rate.
LaMac owner Nugzari Zedania said the allegations are “not right,” and declined to discuss the issue.
“We did pay commissions, vacations, everything,” he said.
A judicial officer determined April 15 that the employee is entitled to a judgment of more than $4,000.
The woman said she wants to see more workers fight for what they are owed.
“I did something so that people stop abusing us workers,” the woman said. “Us immigrant workers, we come here to struggle, to progress, to not stay on the bottom. That’s why we work so hard, to get ahead and to have something in life, but sometimes you can’t.”