An injured Korean worker who worked 72 hours a week at a New York City store won a major settlement today, receiving $28,000 to settle his claim for his unpaid overtime wages.
The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) Korean Workers Project, with help from YKASEC—Empowering the Korean American Community, represented Mr. “Kim ,” a Korean immigrant who worked at a store for eight years and was fired after suffering a debilitating injury that has prevented him from working since.
Steven Choi, Director of the AALDEF Korean Workers Project, said, “We are pleased that Mr. Kim and his family have found some reward for his years of hard, loyal work.” Yu Soung Mun, Executive Director of YKASEC, commented, “In our community, too many workers continue to not be paid for their overtime hours. If workers are not paid for these hours, the whole community must pay for the medical, social, and economic costs later. Hopefully this settlement will increase knowledge of the need to pay overtime.”
The AALDEF Korean Workers Project successfully negotiated a $28,000 settlement to settle Mr. Kim’s wage and hour claims. During his eight years of employment at the store, he worked 12 hours a day or more, 6 days a week, often with no meal or rest breaks. Mr. Kim was only paid a set amount per week, and he never received any separate overtime pay. Mr. Kim also did not receive payment for his “spread of hours,” or the payment of an extra hour at minimum wage that workers receive for working more than 10 hours per day.
The AALDEF Korean Workers Project provides direct legal services free of charge to low-wage Korean immigrant workers. The Project also features community advocacy and educational activities in conjunction with YKASEC—Empowering the Korean American Community, a Queens-based community service organization.