Modern-Day Slavery: Is There a Problem in America?

June 13, 2011  |  Employment Law, Overtime Violations

CNN’s Freedom Project to end modern-day slavery has brought some stunning statistics to our attention. How could it be that 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders each year? (This according to a 2007 report from the U.S. State Department). Moreover, how could 20 percent of all trafficking victims be children?

It seems implausible that slavery of any type could exist today. However, the mere distance of the majority of this trafficking serves as a sort of anesthesia, easing slavery’s reality neatly out of our consciousness.

So our guilt is eased – until we see slavery in our own backyards.

The slavery we are referring to is the coercion of American men and women who, down on their luck, take “day rate” jobs that are only a mask for working overtime (and lots of it) for zero pay – clearly these are overtime violations.

Not only is this ethically wrong – it also happens to be against federal law, specifically the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The good news is that workers in the United States do have options. The sad news is that many are afraid to act on them.

If you suspect overtime violations in your workplace please contact us for a confidential and free consultation.

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