6) In September of 1976, Plaintiff was informed by Esther Rodriquez that Defendant, Manuel Rodriquez, was looking for a maid to come to the United States and work for him and his wife by assisting in the care of their children and in housekeeping.
7) Defendant Mirtha Rodriquez went to Bolivia, met Plaintiff and after conferring with her and several of her relatives, arranged for Plaintiff to come to the United States to assist in the care of her children and house. She understood that she would be paid for her work and that she would live with and be provided her necessities by the Defendants. This was also an exciting experience for her as a Bolivian of Indian heritage to earn more than she could in Bolivia and also travel beyond her native Bolivia for the first time-to the United States of America.
8) On October 9, 1976, at the age of nineteen (19) Plaintiff came to the United States with Mirtha Rodriquez who had made all of the necessary documentary and travel arrangements. She resided with Defendants first at their Virginia residence and subsequently at their Maryland residence from October 9, 1976 until June 9, 1979.
9) While she resided with the Defendants, Plaintiff cooked, cleaned house and took care of Defendants' minor children. These duties were her sole responsibility while both Defendants were at work or otherwise absent from the home. She was assisted in these duties when either or both of the Defendants were in the home. She worked seven (7) days per week, ten (10) to twelve (12) hours per day, without vacation or time off except occasional shopping trips or social visits with either or both of the Defendants and usually with their children. Prior to May, 1979, Plaintiff had never been away from Defendants' residence except in the company of either or both of the Defendants, their children or their friends.
10) While employed by and living with the Defendants, Plaintiff received room, board, miscellaneous clothing and toiletries, medical expenses and minimal pocket money. She never received the money Defendants had advised Plaintiff they were banking for her. Their refusal of Plaintiff's demand for payment of this money and their refusal to permit Plaintiff to make friends of her own or to go to church precipitated this litigation.
11) Defendants claimed a child care credit of nine hundred dollars ($ 900) on their 1976 income tax return for services rendered to them by the Plaintiff. As educated, intelligent, bilingual persons, Defendants failed to demonstrate a good faith effort to comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act. They exploited for their own purposes a young, poorly educated, naive alien who was completely at their whim and mercy.
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
1) The Court has jurisdiction over this action.
2) The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended, 29 U.S.C. § 201, et seq., requires that any employee who is employed in domestic service in a household be paid not less than an hourly rate prescribed by law. 29 U.S.C. § 206(f). For the year 1976, the prescribed minimum wage was $ 2.20 an hour. For the year 1977, the prescribed minimum wage was $ 2.30 an hour. For the year 1978, the prescribed minimum wage was $ 2.65 an hour. And for the year 1979, the prescribed minimum wage was $ 2.90 an hour. 29 U.S.C. §§ 206(f), 206(b) and 206(a)(1).
3) Any employer who violates the provisions of 29 U.S.C. § 206 is liable to the employee affected for the unpaid minimum wages, an additional equal amount as liquidated damages, a reasonable attorney's fee and the costs of the action brought to recover the liability. 29 U.S.C. § 216(b).
4) The reasonable cost of board, lodging, or other facilities may be considered as part of the wage paid an employee only where acceptance of the facility is voluntary and uncoerced. 29 C.F.R. § 531.30.
5) The work performed by Plaintiff for the Defendants was covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act. Marshall v. Intraworld Commodities Corp., 24 WH Cases 860 (E.D.N.Y., June 5, 1980).
6) Plaintiff's cause of action against Defendants accrued in May of 1979 when the Defendant refused to honor Plaintiff's requests for the accumulated wages that they had allegedly been holding for the Plaintiff.
7) Defendants willfully violated the Fair Labor Standards Act.
8) Defendants are liable to Plaintiff for unpaid minimum wages of $ 28,040.00, n1 plus an additional equal amount as liquidated damages, plus a reasonable attorney's fee, plus the costs of this action.
MINIMUM WAGES DUE PLAINTIFF BY DEFENDANTS
Total Minimum Wages Earned
Minimum Weeks Hours in Minimum Equals
Year Wage Employed Workweek Wage Due TOTAL MINIMUM WAGES
EARNED BUT UNPAID $28,040.00
1976 $2.20 12 80 $2,112.00
1977 2.30 52 80 9,568.00
1978 2.65 52 80 11,024.00
1979 2.90 23 80 5,336.00
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