Juan Campoverde, Carlos Ruiz and Carlos Guachun all agreed to take on the unsteady life of day laborers, rising before dawn each day with no guarantee of receiving a temporary job detail. What they didn’t agree to do is work for free.

But more and more across Connecticut, employers are hiring undocumented immigrants for daily work assignments and then refusing to pay them for their time and effort, lawyers say. Frequently the workers speak little or no English, and when complaints about not being paid are made, the employers threaten to report the workers to immigration officials.