(@bmhutch68) kudos icon +

WHD Ensuring Proper Wages in the Workplace

Prove investigators that speak the language

In Northern New England, all State enforcement agencies are faced with not having an investigator easily available that speaks the native language or understands the customs of the minority groups to perform a thorough investigation within predominantly ethnic businesses. The agencies must rely upon interpreters over the phone to attempt to conduct the interview. The use of phone interpreters usually results in frustration... more »

Voting

6 votes
6 up votes
0 down votes
(@obsidian) kudos icon +

WHD Ensuring Proper Wages in the Workplace

Proper Training of Employers - LEAN / 6 SIGMA

When I was in manufacturing we competed against China and US Based companies with Undocumented Laborers / Labor Trafficking Victims. Both groups had wage rates well below our legal operating wage rates. In fact we were known in the area as one of the top paying employers, paying every employee a living wage.

What set us apart was engaging our employees in training and education on how to constantly review and improve... more »

Voting

1 vote
2 up votes
1 down votes
(@csewell) kudos icon +

WHD Ensuring Proper Wages in the Workplace

Strict Enforcement

First of all, Thank You for bringing this issue to the forefront.

I have been in the union construction trades for over 32 years. I have been on staff for over 16 years. A lot of my days are spent talking to workers in the construction industry who are either, not paid right, misclassified or threatened if they speak to anyone of authority.

To date we have filed numerous wage theft violations over the years against... more »

Voting

5 votes
5 up votes
0 down votes
(@jjz) kudos icon +

WHD Ensuring Proper Wages in the Workplace

Overcoming Barriers to Investigators Interviewing Guestworkers

ISSUE ONE: Legal Action of Wisconsin's trafficked farmworker clients, particularly H-2A visa clients, repeatedly have wage and hour violations. However, when DOL W&H investigators arrive to interview these agricultural workers, our clients tell us that they feel compelled by their bad actor employer or crew leader to not answer investigator questions honestly (ie. Pressured to tell DOL investigators they've received their... more »

Voting

8 votes
8 up votes
0 down votes
(@michael.fullilove) kudos icon +

WHD Ensuring Proper Wages in the Workplace

Technology to Identify Trafficking in Labor Supply Chains

Current efforts to identify and interdict labor trafficking are at the artisanal scale and is like trying to drain a lake of its water one cup at a time. There is vast amounts of open source data available on various aspects of the labor supply chain. Monitoring efforts are currently hampered by an inability to cross reference data points across multiple massive data sets from different agencies, companies and the internet.... more »

Voting

1 vote
4 up votes
3 down votes
(@lgreising) kudos icon +

WHD Ensuring Proper Wages in the Workplace

Ensure ICE/ERO Protects Victims and Supports Investigations

The Advocates for Human Rights recommends DOL set-up and follow procedures for collaboration with ERO/ICE, which focus on the rights of victims and ensuring witness protections. In our experience, DOL ability to investigate has been impinged by ICE/ERO actions that apprehend victims, re-traumatizing them and making investigations/support more challenging due to possible deportation. DOL should work with ICE officials... more »

Voting

4 votes
4 up votes
0 down votes
(@lgreising) kudos icon +

WHD Ensuring Proper Wages in the Workplace

Work with DoS to Protect J-1 Visa Holders from Trafficking

DOL should work to protect J-1 visa holders from trafficking and exploitation. This should be done through cooperation with DOS on pre-departure training, consistent and timely investigations and screening of all host programs, reliable reporting resources for complaints, and more. In our experience, the J-1 program can be valuable; however, it involves significant opportunity for exploitation where participants—who have... more »

Voting

3 votes
3 up votes
0 down votes
(@lgreising) kudos icon +

WHD Ensuring Proper Wages in the Workplace

Improve Investigations by Involving Partners

The Advocates for Human Rights strongly encourages DOL to ensure any protocols guarantee the involvement of social service providers and advocates early and throughout the investigation. The individuals help aid the investigation by providing needed services to make victims safe and comfortable. They also have training and skills in trauma-informed interviewing techniques and understand nuances facing special populations.... more »

Voting

6 votes
6 up votes
0 down votes
(@stephaniecastla) kudos icon 1

WHD Ensuring Proper Wages in the Workplace

DOL should claim an equal seat at the table with LEA partners

DOL Wage and Hour should claim an equal seat at the table with LEA partners on human trafficking, especially in preventing and combating labor trafficking, given its expertise in engaging workers in complex systems. Additionally, civil remedies often better ensure compensation for victims and have a wider range of penalties that can be imposed to prevent businesses and others from engaging in trafficking in the future.... more »

Voting

17 votes
17 up votes
0 down votes
(@stephaniecastla) kudos icon +

WHD Ensuring Proper Wages in the Workplace

WHD Should Enhance Training Efforts to Better Combat Trafficking

(1) WHD should ensure all newly hired and current wage and hour inspectors receive comprehensive training on human trafficking as they are the critical front line staff who may be coming into contact with victims. Training should be on both labor and sex trafficking, with a focus on forced criminality, and the overlap between sex and labor trafficking. Wage and Hour Inspectors are well positioned to identify all forms... more »

Voting

15 votes
15 up votes
0 down votes
(@allisongrossman) kudos icon 1

WHD Ensuring Proper Wages in the Workplace

Prioritize complaints that allege retaliation

Many workers fear raising worksite complaints about worker safety because their work authorization is attached to their job. WHD should prioritize complaints that allege retaliation in order to protect workers who come forward about labor trafficking and exploitation. WHD should also issue guidance and update the Field Operations Handbook and training to ensure that WHD investigators apply a broad interpretation of retaliation... more »

Voting

7 votes
7 up votes
0 down votes
(@allisongrossman) kudos icon +

WHD Ensuring Proper Wages in the Workplace

Ensure appropriate training for federal investigators

WHD should require that all federal investigators undergo training on issues specific to temporary work visas to combat labor trafficking in these systems, including deferred action requests, U visa certifications, T visas, visa sponsorship remedy, fraud in foreign labor contracting and recruitment abuse. DOL should work with state workforce agencies to train state investigators in every state on these same issues. DOL... more »

Voting

5 votes
5 up votes
0 down votes
(@allisongrossman) kudos icon +

WHD Ensuring Proper Wages in the Workplace

Address international labor recruitment

WHD should increase its focus on addressing international labor recruitment, a practice that often leaves temporary visa workers in a situation of debt bondage when they enter the U.S. and increases their vulnerability to labor trafficking. DOL should create an Office of International Labor Recruitment Certification housed within WHD. The Office should generate a structure to monitor international labor recruitment practices... more »

Voting

5 votes
5 up votes
0 down votes