Day laborers looking to protect themselves against employer wage and hour violations have a new weapon – a smartphone application called Jornalero.
Jornalero started as a project of the New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE) in Jackson Heights, New York. After three years of planning, the immigrant rights group will launch a beta version of the app later this month.
As reported in the New York Times, the app intended designed to help day laborers, who are mostly undocumented immigrants, combat wage theft by allowing them to create a profile and record their hours and wages into a database. Workers can also anonymously post or alert other users about unsafe job sites as well as employers who withhold compensation or fail to pay overtime pay. The app can also be used to take and upload pictures of the unsafe workplaces or photos of an employer’s vehicle, and users can rate an employer similar to the way consumers provide business reviews on Yelp or Foursquare.
When laborers report on Jornalero that they have been cheated out of pay, the New Immigrant Community Empowerment works with lawyers from the Urban Justice Center to help the workers recover lost wages.
NICE plans to distribute the Jornalero app across New York’s 70 day laborer stops before releasing it to workers across the U.S.