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More than 970 labor violations self-reported in Houston in 2018

Updated: May 6, 2019

Ileana Najarro with Houston Chronicle May 1, 2019

Maria Soto talks about her wage theft case, that she was able to win in court, during a news conference detailing labor violations their members experienced across Houston in 2018 at Fe y Justicia Worker Center on Wednesday, May 1, 2019, in Houston.

A worker who was owed $3,305 in wages from her employer never recovered the money after the Texas Workforce Commission closed her case when the employer declared bankruptcy.

A worker developed a urinary tract infection after working 12-hour shifts at a child detention center without a bathroom break policy.

A domestic worker in The Woodlands worked 16 hour days without breaks at about $5 an hour while her employers withheld her passport and threatened to deport her should she try to leave.

These were among the 975 complaints the Fe y Justicia Worker Center received and documented between February 2018 and March 2019, according to a report released by the nonprofit on Wednesday.

Of these complaints, 623 were workplace abuse claims that could be referred to a labor agency or court. They ranged from wage theft cases to instances of labor trafficking.

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