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Stamford Immigrant Center Denies Allegations Of Abusing Day Laborers

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A community organization that helps immigrants in Stamford says allegations that staff verbally abused day laborers and exploited them are false.

Catalina Horak leads the center called Building 1 Community. Horak says the group was founded to give day laborers a safe place to find work and to help recoup unpaid wages.

“This whole thing of forcing people to work, not paying them, forcing people to do things are absolutely unequivocally untrue.”

Carlos Alberto Amayo is a former janitor at Building 1 Community. The allegations first reported by the Associated Press are based on a complaint he filed with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.

WSHU reviewed the complaint. It does not claim that day laborers were asked to work for free. Amayo says in the complaint that he was terminated less than three months after he was hired. He claims it was retaliation for complaining that staff were disrespectful to some visitors.  

Amayo would not agree to a phone interview on Thursday.