Omer

In 2012, Omer took a job with an Iowa City factory, working on a fast-paced assembly line at $8 per hour though a temporary agency named Team Staffing Solutions. Instead of giving him a paycheck, the agency assigned him a debit card, and promised to deposit his wages on to the card on each payday.

After he left the factory, Omer realized that he had been shorted nearly a full week of wages. He confronted his manager, who refused to give him the unpaid wages, claiming that Omer would have the burden of proving that he had worked those days. Omer pointed out that he had signed in each day at work, the supervisor had seen him, and all his co-workers had seen him, but the manager refused to pay.

Nine months later, Omer found the Center for Worker Justice in Iowa City, a nonprofit group that sent a letter to the employer signed by dozens of community allies. Within a week, Omer finally received his wages.