Worker Complaints Over Immigration-Related Threats Surge in California: Labor Commissioner’s Office

The deal the worker struck was simple: $150 a day to tile a bathroom and stucco the walls of a home in Arcadia. The pay was to come at the end of each day but never did, according to a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court by the California labor commissioner.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents detain an immigrant on Oct. 14, 2015 in Los Angeles. (Credit: John Moore/Getty Images)

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents detain an immigrant on Oct. 14, 2015 in Los Angeles. (Credit: John Moore/Getty Images)

After six days with no pay, the lawsuit alleges, the worker finally confronted his boss, who then snapped, called him a “wetback” and threatened to report him to immigration authorities.

“Let me share something with you, not only am I [an ex]-sheriff, my family are all in the police department,” the lawsuit says the boss wrote in a follow-up text message after refusing to pay the worker. “You want to come to my job & create a issue, I will handcuff you take you into custody & wait for I.C.E to come take you in for felony threats.”

The employer could not be reached for comment, but the claim is increasingly common. Complaints over immigration-related retaliation threats surged last year in California, according to the Labor Commissioner’s Office. Through Dec. 22, workers had filed 94 immigration-related retaliation claims with the office, up from 20 in all of 2016 and only seven a year earlier.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.