Mercedes Santiago worked hard for years at a local cookie factory earning 4.50$ an hour and receiving no overtime pay. That was until her eyes were opened and she reported her employer to defend her rights. Now, it’s her turn to laugh. She turned to the lawyer Michael Faillace & Associates, thinking that she would receive around $20 thousand dollars for the extra hours and work that she did for 6 years, but she received way more than what she was expecting. “The truth is I don’t run away from work, but this was just way too much. They would make us clean the ovens, pack the cookies, clean everything, up to 14 hours daily for $4.50 an hour. All of it gets tiring after a while, the abuse and the exploitation “says Mercedes. “With the lawyer Michael Faillace I got more then what I wanted.”
What really helped Mercedes was her really good memory. She barely had finished the 3rd grade when she left her hometown to Mexico City, where she finished high school at night. No matter what her teachers always recognized her memory and her intelligence. The same way that she would remember a sibling’s birthday was the same way that she remembered that she started working in the cookie factory on October 9th 2009 up until January 30th of 2015, when the work relationship ended.
She arrived to the United States 23 years ago, after her husband sent for her. Since the first day she dedicated herself to work to help her husband and that they had everything in their little love nest. Whenever she has time between jobs, she heats up the pans to cook up some mole rojo, tacos from Veracruz with vegetable tamales. “That’s what I miss the most – the home cooking, the fresh fruits and vegetables of my town,” she misses. Finally, she is grateful for the attention in Spanish and the treatment she received from Michael and the Associates. “Before anything I want to thank God and the virgin of Guadalupe for listening to me,” she concluded.