Attorney Alberto Ayo gives his legal opinion on a particularly abusive situation regarding an undocumented immigrant. Celia has a work accident at a restaurant that caused burns all over her body. The owner becomes furious after she talks of the incident and in the process discloses she works at the restaurant. It turns out the worker is an illegal immigrant and was not being paid wages required under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act. Angry that Celia talked to others about her accident, the restaurant owner hits her and ends up in jail on battery charges. Mr. Ayo discusses obligations to compensate workers fairly – regardless of their immigration status.
Transcript in english:
Male 1: And an undocumented female in Tampa has suffered burns while working and her employer ended up in jail.
Female 1: True, Samuel. Unfortunately, Cintia Lemos explains to us the rights of immigrants when they face an accident during employment in this exclusive news that you can only watch in Noticias Tampa Bay.
Female 2: Celia is desperate after allegedly having a work accident at the restaurant Antojitos Latinos on Armenia Avenue in Tampa.
Female 3:A pressure cooker blew up and I´ve got my whole body burnt, my whole body burned. Then, what the lady did was throw me buckets of water. And her son came to take me home, but not to the doctor´s.
Female 2: The situation worsened because, according to Celia, of Mexican origin, the wounds will not heal and had to return to hospital. This time, she had no choice but tell where the accident had happened, triggering, according to her, the fury of Everlyn Arias, owner of the restaurant.
Female 3: And she came to my home with her husband. They got in and the lady started to say “why did you tell this? I told you ) not tell where you were working”.
Female 2: Everlyn was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon and burglary. But she has paid her bail.
Female 3: No, I do not know my rights,unfortunately. Moreover, I don´t even know whether I have rights or not. I know nothing. No, I’m an ass, an ignorant as the lady says.
Female 2: We spoke with the lawyer Alberto Ayó, who says that in this country, all workers have rights, regardless of their legal status.
Alberto Ayo: With or without documents, the person, who is working must be paid the minimum wage and must be paid overtime. Now if the worker gets injured at work, the employee has the same resources as a legal employee with documents.
Female 2: The fear of losing her job or being arrested is what scared Celia and maley undocumented immigrants, because they cannot demonstrate they are being employed by the company.
Alberto Ayo: Obviously it’s a complication. But evidence is getting gathered along the case.
Female 2: These evidence could be photos, videos or any document which shows you worked there.
Female 3: So who’s going to pay all damages? Who is going to pay the hospital bills?
Female 2: In the case of Celia, questions are still in the air. From Tampa, Cintia Lemos, Noticias Tampa Bay.
Male 1: Thank you, Cynthia for the important information.