New Haven market ordered to pay penalties to immigrant workers

Protesters outside Gourmet Heaven in New Haven (file).

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A food market in New Haven has been ordered to pay out thousands of dollars worth of penalties to six immigrant workers.

On Tuesday, Gourmet Heaven was ordered to pay more than $175,000 worth of penalties to six immigrant workers, some of whom worked for as little as $3.00 an hour at the 24-hour grocery on the Yale campus. According to the attorney representing the workers, Judge Vanessa Bryant found that the owners of Gourmet Heaven illegally retaliated against these workers for cooperating with a Connecticut Department of Labor (DOL) investigation into failure to pay wages.

Original Story: Gourmet Heaven owner arrested for wage violations

John Lugo, Community Organizer with Unidad Latina en Accion (ULA) said that the ruling sends a clear message to employers.

This ruling sends a clear message that workers have the right to organize, and employers will be punished if they retaliate. We have the right to speak up for human rights, demand fair wages, and protest.”

The case against Gourmet Heaven is not over. According to a news release from ULA, the court indicated in its decision that additional damages may be available with the submission of more evidence.

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