January 19, 2024
After years of being paid abysmally low wages, two workers have finally received compensation and damages for their work at a fast food restaurant in Salisbury, Maryland. Mohammed Salim and Rafiedul Islam, both Bangladeshi immigrants, sued their employer in January 2023 with representation from the Public Justice Center, alleging that they were paid wages equating to around $5 per hour or less over several years while working 40 to 80 hours per week. They further alleged that they continued working, despite the low wages, out of trust in the owners’ empty promises of one day making Mr. Salim a business partner and of paying Mr. Islam all he was owed. In September, the Court approved a settlement that provides Mr. Salim and Mr. Islam with $260,000 in unpaid wages and damages plus attorneys’ fees and costs—far more than their estimate of wages owed. Wage theft pervades the restaurant industry and disproportionately harms immigrant workers. Unfortunately, it is rare for impacted workers to receive settlements as large as this one. This victory both provides justice to Mr. Salim and Mr. Islam and sends a powerful message to other employers in the industry.
PJC attorneys David Rodwin and Diana Jarek and paralegal Emily Woo Kee worked on Salim and Islam v. Mysha Management 4 Inc., et al.