“Six months after starting work as a janitor cleaning Boston city-owned buildings for M&M Contract Cleaning, I learned I was not being paid the prevailing wage as required by my employer’s contract with the city. Instead of making $16.75 per hour I was only making $10.00 per hour—and I noticed that taxes were never taken out of my checks.
My employer had misclassified me as an independent contractor in order to pay a lower wage and avoid paying unemployment insurance and workers compensation.
Sometimes I had to travel all the way to Brockton to pick up my paychecks, and on two separate occasions when I tried to deposit my paycheck it bounced and I was charged fines.
I still have not been paid back the $5,462.52 that I am owed."
"As a janitor for US Kleanway cleaning theaters, the workload was so heavy I often had to ask my wife to help me finish. My wife was never paid for her time, and I was underpaid, receiving only $100 a day. I didn’t get overtime, I didn’t get meal breaks, and I wasn’t given any health or safety equipment.
When I got together with a group of five other coworkers to demand fair pay and fair treatment, US Kleanways fired all of us on the spot.
It took a year with the help of Chelsea Collaborative and a coalition of community and labor organizations protesting at AMC Loews Theater to pressure US Kleanways into paying tens of thousands of dollars in the wages and overtime owed to my coworkers and me.”
“When I went to the McDonald's where I worked to pick up my two paychecks they were not there. I was told they were stolen, and later the owner accused me of cashing the checks and then lying about it.
Of course, that was impossible—at the time the paychecks were stolen, I was in the hospital after giving birth to my child.
Not only did the owner deny responsibility for the disappearance of the paychecks, he refused to pay me and actually fired me for trying to claim my own wages. It took two years, with the help of the Worker Center for Economic Justice in filing a claim with the Office of the Attorney General, for me to receive the pay I earned.”