When disaster strikes, most people take cover. Relief workers are often the first on the scene. Whatever emergency an area experiences, people who work in disaster relief are often on the front lines alongside first responders, helping to contain and remedy damage done to property.
Job duties might include digging ditches, installing power lines, maintenance work, and cleaning up dangerous areas. Because there is often a state of emergency, relief workers often work 12 hours a day or more, 7 days a week. This work is essential, but often, relief workers find that they’re not paid properly for the grueling hours they are required to work. We fight to correct that.
How Disaster Relief Workers Help
Disaster relief workers take action when a calamity strikes, and they’re usually there long afterward helping put communities back together. Violent weather events include:
Relief workers perform dangerous, essential jobs. And on top of all that risk and hard work, they’re often victims of wage theft.
How Disaster Relief Workers Are Underpaid
Often, relief workers are paid day rates. Just like hourly paid workers, if they work overtime, workers paid day rates are entitled to additional overtime premium pay for their overtime hours worked. Often, employers fail to pay anything but the day rate alone. This is illegal.
If a disaster relief worker does not receive overtime pay for working extra hours, they may be owed money under the Fair Labor Standards Act, or FLSA.
Day rates are often used by employers who — either unintentionally or intentionally — consequently underpay their workers, across multiple industries.