Bushwick workers win $150,000 in back wages

BUSHWICK - Three Hispanic women who claimed they were exploited by their former Bushwick employer have won back wages.

Under a settlement, the owners of the department store Save Mart will pay more than $150,000 to Julia Ortiz, Consuelo Echeverry and Maria Martinez.The women said they were paid as little as $3.33 an hour and never received overtime, yet they say they worked 11-hour days six days a week.

The 2004 suit cost two of the women their jobs after they complained to the state Department of Labor, according to their attorneys. Their lawyers also criticized the department under then-Gov. George Pataki for "dropping the ball" in the matter.

The group Make the Road New York helped the women pursue their case. The organization says many Brooklyn Latinos fall victim to similar practices.

Save Mart is no longer in business.

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