It’s CDM’s anniversary month and there’s so much to celebrate. Today, it’s all about Maribel and Reyna!
By now, I’m sure you know Maribel and Reyna’s story by heart. When they worked at a crawfish plant in Louisiana on H-2B visas, their employer fired them after they sought medical attention for COVID-19. A hundred people got sick. With CDM’s support, Maribel and Reyna took action by filing a whistleblower complaint with OSHA.
Since then, Maribel and Reyna have told their story to countless investigators, legislators, other workers and media. While OSHA dismissed their complaint earlier this year, Maribel and Reyna have continued to fight for justice. And today, we’re thrilled to report Maribel and Reyna’s efforts have extended beyond their initial complaint.
Recently, the Department of Labor recovered $138,629 in back wages for 100 workers who were not paid overtime in that same Louisiana plant. In the official announcement, the DOL explicitly credited Maribel and Reyna’s OSHA complaint for opening the investigation that led to this amazing victory.
“The pandemic has affected me in every way — this whole situation was traumatic. I’m so proud of having been so brave,” said Maribel Hernandez.
“I’m happy that I fought for my life and my coworkers’. I’m so proud to share this fight with Reyna and with them. I will continue to fight for justice to make sure other people don’t go through the same.”
“I’m so happy — that we decided to stand up for our rights and that the DOL listened to us,” said Reyna Alvarez. “I’m excited that our actions resulted in this decision and that we’re finally getting some justice for migrant workers. We overcame fear and raised our voices — I’m so glad it was worth it.”
We’re so proud to fight alongside Maribel and Reyna! Here’s how you can join the celebration:
- Call your representative to make sure H-2B workers like Maribel and Reyna get a pathway to citizenship in the reconciliation bill.
- Make a donation to CDM so we can continue to provide critical legal services to hundreds of workers every year.
This is just the beginning. We will continue to advance migrant justice until every single worker is treated with dignity and respect.