Working 11-hour shifts, getting paid $3 an hour and being locked in a basement without windows or ventilation: these were the claims of three female employees at a pinata factory in the basement of a Woodside party store called Let’s Have a Party, according to published reports.
On Monday the employees — Maria Diaz, Ruth Dominguez and Laura Vidals — filed a lawsuit at Brooklyn Federal Court seeking an unspecified amount of back pay, the reports said. Two claimed that they were fired when they complained about the low pay.
The workers, who were allegedly paid in cash “off the books,” labored in the windowless basement without masks and gloves to protect them against the “chemicals and fumes” they said they were exposed to while making the paper pinatas, the NY Post reported that the lawsuit says.
The employees manufactured around 300 pinatas a week in the basement work room, the suit says. The workers, who claim they were also dissuaded from leaving the basement to go upstairs to use the restroom, are also charging the owners with false imprisonment, the suit says.
The owner of the factory operates several stores, at least one of which is located in Corona.