Skip to content
Know Your Rights
Source: Next City
Subject: Workplace Justice
Type: Media Coverage

A New Digital Legal Tool Helps Immigrant Workers Reclaim Their Stolen Wages

The ¡Reclamo! Tool was designed to help low-wage, immigrant workers seek economic justice by making wage theft claims and gathering data to inform activism. In the fall of 2018, Rodrigo Camarena caught an article in El Diario La Prensa, a Spanish-language newspaper in New York City, detailing the increase in wage theft for immigrant workers. One worker told the paper their employer threatened to call immigration services if they complained about not getting paid.

Camarena is the director of Justicia Lab, which develops technology to support immigrants and advocates. “It made me really mad, knowing the problem got so much worse under the Trump administration,” recalls Camarena. He reached out to Make the Road New York, an immigrant advocacy organization quoted in the article: “I basically asked: how can we help?”

The result is ¡Reclamo!, the first independent and not-for-profit worker advocacy digital legal tool to screen and file wage theft complaints. After a three-year design process and eight-month pilot, the app launched this month as a web and mobile platform to empower New York workers and advocates to know, use and shape employment laws.