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 Nepali employee sues Indian Restaurant in New York
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Posted on 04-03-12 11:38 AM     Reply [Subscribe]
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A Nepali kitchen assistant says his Long Island restaurant bosses made him live with other workers in an isolated basement room so he could toil for as many as 21 days in a row.

“It was hidden. It was behind the curtains. I was being exploited,” Rabin Kumar Biswokarma said on Monday in announcing a lawsuit against Masala Wok & Grill in Selden and the restaurant’s owners, Shivaji Pathak and Tony Malik.

Biswokarma, who lives in Queens, says when he was hired at Masala last summer, the owners promised him $500 a week.

They said he would have to move near the restaurant if he took the job, but that they would provide a comfortable room.

“I was there with a dream,” he said.

Instead, he toiled for as many as 12 hours a day for weeks without a day off, chopping meat and vegetables.

His bosses gradually lowered the amount they paid each week, giving him $100 some weeks and then cutting off payment altogether, he said.

He says the owners told him to keep working after he cut his hand with a kitchen knife.

He lived with four other Masala staffers in a basement apartment with little ventilation, he said, often leaving only to go to the restaurant.

Calls to Masala went unanswered Monday. Pathak did not return a call requesting comment. Malik could not be reached.

After weeks with no pay, Biswokarma decided to leave last October — deciding it was better to be out on the street than stuck working as a virtual slave.

“After I left that job, I was almost homeless,” he said. “I stayed with different friends.”

Desperate to get what he was owed, Biswokarma went to Woodside non-profit Adhikaar for help.

Executive director Luna Ranjit says Biswokarma’s story is all too common in the emerging Nepali immigrant community.

“We’ve heard hundreds of these stories,” she said.

His suit, filed last week, alleges state and federal labor violations, including unpaid wages and no overtime. He is represented by the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund.

"We believe these restaurant owners intentionally lure vulnerable workers with false promises of dignified work, and then isolate them in remote locations to extract their labor," said Biswokarma’s lawyer, Shirley Lin.

"They must be held accountable."

epearson@nydailynews.com



 
Posted on 04-03-12 11:43 AM     [Snapshot: 6]     Reply [Subscribe]
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At first I thought this could jeopardize potential opportunities for other Nepalese. But reading the whole thing, I am proud of what Mr. Biswokarma and Adhikar did. These exploitation needs to end.
 
Posted on 04-03-12 11:48 AM     [Snapshot: 22]     Reply [Subscribe]
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 About time someone stood up against these bloodsuckers. 
 
Posted on 04-03-12 11:51 AM     [Snapshot: 22]     Reply [Subscribe]
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This should come as a wake up call to all Indian restaurants that exploit Nepali workers by paying them $350 a week making them work 7 days a week.

 
Posted on 04-03-12 11:56 AM     [Snapshot: 40]     Reply [Subscribe]
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 We nepali come to the US, have to realize this: Indians are NOT doing us a favor by hiring us. We dont have to work for them. There is a safe legal way to do almost anything. You just have to research and find it. 

Indians see us as sheep. They know we need them. Truth is we really dont. 

1st step is to open your mind and prepare to experience American culture in all its glory. Don't be shy, talk to them. They are humans and have same feelings. Everyone is judgemental, but this is something you have to struggle with in a foreign country. Why struggle against indians when you can struggle by yourself and reap the fruits of your hard work.

Clear your mind of any biasedness against Americans ("kuire" haru yesto hunchan, testo hunchan. You dont know that. You only heard people say that.)

Jai nepal. 

 
Posted on 04-03-12 12:04 PM     [Snapshot: 92]     Reply [Subscribe]
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Most Nepalis who work in such conditions do so because they don't have legal papers. So in a way it is a win win situation for both unless there are issues like this.

 
Posted on 04-03-12 2:34 PM     [Snapshot: 435]     Reply [Subscribe]
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It is not only at Restaurant but any places you work with Indian ower.
It is their attitude, their mentality.
They keep the tips in thier pocket.


 
Posted on 04-03-12 4:12 PM     [Snapshot: 636]     Reply [Subscribe]
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indians are racist. no wonder the whole world hates them. i know there's some arciles in which nepali woman sue Indian dipolmat for US$1.5 million. this happened in US recently.

 
Posted on 04-03-12 6:48 PM     [Snapshot: 850]     Reply [Subscribe]
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I know I've read that other news of exploited woman working under some indian diplomat too.
These indians are victimizing illiterate 'kancha','kanchi' and 'bahadur' of Nepal.






 
Posted on 04-04-12 10:57 AM     [Snapshot: 1430]     Reply [Subscribe]
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And the detail is here
http://aaldef.org/12518795_Biswokarma%20Complaint-c.pdf
 


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