A while back on this blog, we wrote about a federal lawsuit filed against Creekstone Farms slaughterhouse in Arkansas City, Kansas. Employees had filed that suit in order to recover unpaid overtime and wages. As we noted in that post, the employees' claimed that the company routinely paid hourly employees based on the principle of "gang time," which is the amount of time the workers are assigned to the production lines. In that approach, employees were not paid according to the actual time they put in.
According to the Connecticut Post, the workers who filed the suit now want the company barred from discovering their immigration status during the course of the litigation.
In their request to the federal judge, the employees want the court to prevent discover of information such as their current and past names, their birthplaces, their Social Security numbers, and any documents revealing their immigration status.
According to the employees' attorney, other courts have ruled that if employers are allowed to discover information related to immigration status, they may have motivation to hire undocumented workers. This would put them in a position to use fear as a way to prevent the workers from enforcing their labor rights. On the other side, the attorney for Creekstone Farms said the discover requests made by the company are standard in such lawsuits.
As we have written on this blog in the past, undocumented workers still have certain rights when it comes to the workplace. One of those rights is to be paid for the time they work.
Source: Ct Post, "Kan. Workers seek to bar immigration questions," 27 July 2011