Group pushes for immigrant wage-protection program

THE BRONX - A local immigrant organization is pushing for a new wage-protection program after they say many workers go without adequate pay.

Make the Road New York says the Wage Theft Prevention Act would stop many small businesses from taking advantage of immigrant workers and paying them only in tips.

According to Luis Olivos, he worked more than 80 hours a week at Fine Fare Supermarkets in the Bronx for seven years and only took home about $25 in tips a day.

The group says Olivos' situation is not uncommon and adds up to around $1 billion a year in lost wages in the city. It says many workers are either afraid to speak up or can't because of language barriers.

The act was approved in the state Senate and Assembly, but in different versions. The organization says it is hoping a revised bill will pass after Election Day.

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