The Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund sponsored a rally this morning in front of the 7-Eleven Store on Nassau Street to protest the company’s alleged mistreatment of employees when it comes to wages and worker hours.
Three Princeton residents who are former employees of the store have filed a lawsuit in Mercer County Superior Court against the Princeton 7-Eleven Store, its owners and managers, and the Dallas-based 7-Eleven, Inc., in connection with alleged wage and hour violations.
In the lawsuit, filed by the workers’ attorney, Roger Martindell of Princeton, the plaintiffs claim that they worked at the Princeton 7-Eleven Store since the store first opened in November of 2015, stocking shelves, cleaning, and doing other general store maintenance duties.
They claim they were paid $6 or $6.50 an hour, substantially less than the New Jersey minimum wage of $8.38 per hour.
According to Martindell, the three workers worked as much as 12 hours per day, seven days a week, but were never paid the legally-required overtime rate of pay of one and one-half times their regular hourly wage for hours worked over 40 each week.
Store representative denied violation of those laws and claimed that the workers had signed documents indicating they would not be making claims against the store. Martindell said his clients do not read English and, under the laws, cannot be bound by any document they may have signed in the circumstances.
Maria Juega, executive director of LALDEF, claims that the violation of wage laws is common in Princeton, particularly in restaurant, construction and landscape businesses where immigrants frequently work.
Martindell said that his clients are suing not only on their own behalf, but also as part of a collective action on behalf of all 7-Eleven workers in the central New Jersey markets shared by the Princeton 7-Eleven Store.