The owners of luxury retailer Sermoneta Gloves located outside California are the defendants in a federal lawsuit brought forth by a former employee. The couple’s former maid alleges that she was made promises that her former employers didn’t keep. She claims that they did not pay her overtime and let her worry that, if she complained, she would be deported.

The plaintiff was contacted by the couple when she lived outside the country. The couple apparently wanted to employ her as a housekeeper and nanny in their home in the United States. She alleges that they made promises that she would work 40 hours a week at $15 per hour. Additionally, she reportedly would be paid $23 for any hours that she worked overtime.

The plaintiff claims the couple sponsored her to get a visa so she could come to America to work in their home. After she arrived, however, she asserts that she was not paid at all what she was promised. The woman alleges that she worked over 70 hours a week and was given $450 as a salary which equated to her making less per hour than she was offered and nothing additional for her overtime.

The plaintiff found herself in a tight situation as she had just moved across the country, but maintains she questioned the couple why she was not getting the overtime and wages she was promised. The couple purportedly threatened to revoke her sponsorship and have her deported if she continued to complain about how she was being paid. No longer able to tolerate the conditions, the woman quit and is suing the couple for violating labor laws and for human trafficking. Californians who believe that they are not being paid in accordance with the law may first consider trying to remedy the problem with their employer. If a solution that is agreeable to both parties is not reached, the workers may consider going forward with legal recourse.

Source: New York Daily News, “High-end Upper East Side glove vendors stole wages from Filipina maid, threatened to deport her if she complained: lawsuit“, Victoria Bekiempis, Jan. 26, 2016