Day laborers and other immigrant workers often work without contracts and for temporary periods, making them especially vulnerable to wage theft by their employers. Many day laborers are recent immigrants to the US and aren’t aware of their right to be paid the minimum wage and work in a safe environment, or what to do if their wages have been stolen.

CUP worked with designer Caroline Oh and Queens-based New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE) to make ¡No me han pagado!, an illustrated, Spanish-language guide to help day laborers protect themselves from wage theft. The project was developed with input from NICE members, who also appear in many of the illustrations. The pocket-sized guide visually explains the specific things that day laborers should be paid for, what to keep track of on the job and at home to better protect oneself, and what to do if one is owed wages.

¡No me han pagado! (I haven’t been paid!) is currently being distributed by NICE and eight other day laborer centers in the New York metropolitan area. In addition to raising awareness about labor rights and how to enforce them, NICE is using the booklet as an organizing tool in their 2014 campaigns to bring workers with wage theft cases together to put pressure on employers, and to improve state agency oversight of wage and hour violations.

Resources & Links

New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE) is a community-based, non-profit organization that works to ensure that new immigrants can build social, political and economic power in their communities and beyond.

Caroline Oh is a designer and educator interested in creating delightful interactive tools for storytelling, learning and play. She holds an MFA from CalArts and lives in NYC.

Public Access Design is a program of the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP). Public Access Design projects use design to make complex urban issues accessible to the New Yorkers most affected by them. 

Funding Support

Support for this project was provided by The Rockefeller Foundation’s NYC Cultural Innovation Fund; and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Special Thanks

Caracol Interpreters Collaborative, David Colodny, Christine Gaspar, Sam Holleran, Raj Kottamasu, Diana Marin, Nadia Marin-Molina, Valeria Mogilevich, Chrystian Rodriguez


  • CUP
  • Project Lead
  • Clara Amenyo
    • NICE
    • Advocacy Partner
    • Jessica García

    • Natalia Navas

    • Valeria Treves

    • Adriana Escandón 

    • Caroline Oh
    • Designer


    Comic Book Informs Day Laborers of Their Rights
    • Voices of NY
    • May 28, 2014

    The guide provides advice in a simple, entertaining format using language that is easy to understand. It also gives tips for staying healthy and safe in the workplace, and valuable information on city regulations established by the New York State Department of Labor.

    Jornaleros cuentan con libro para defender sus derechos
    • El Diario
    • May 08, 2014

    “Este cuadernillo contiene importante información sobre nuestros derechos como jornaleros y trabajadores en la construcción.  Nos va a ayudar a salir de las sombras y reclamar nuestros derechos cuando nos explotan,” dijo Jesús Morelo, miembro de NICE y colaborador en la ejecución del folleto.