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DOL Wage and Hour Division - Combating Trafficking in Persons

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					            Human Trafficking

          Wage and Hour Division
          U.S. Department of Labor

 The Role of WHD in Combating Human Trafficking




U.S. Department of Labor
                             Human Trafficking and WHD
Mission – Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

• To promote and achieve compliance with labor
  standards to protect and enhance the welfare of
  the Nation's workforce




  U.S. Department of Labor
                              Human Trafficking and WHD
Mission – Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

• All workers are entitled to full and fair compensation
  for their labor, regardless of immigration status




   U.S. Department of Labor
                             Human Trafficking and WHD
WHD Enforces:

•   Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938, as amended

•   Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993

•   Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection
    Act (MSPA) of 1983

•   Worker protections provided in several temporary visa programs

•   Davis-Bacon Act (DBA) of 1931

•   McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act (SCA) of 1965



     U.S. Department of Labor
     Employment Standards Administration
                             Human Trafficking and WHD
How WHD Accomplishes its Mission:

Balances Three Complementary Strategies:

1. Enforcement (targeted and complaint-driven)

2. Education and Outreach

3. Partnerships and Collaborative Efforts

4. Public Awareness




  U.S. Department of Labor
                               Human Trafficking and WHD

WHD Enforcement Focus
•   WHD targets low-wage industries, including:

         -   Construction
         -   Apparel Manufacturing
         -   Agricultural
         -   Automotive Maintenance and Repair
         -   Food & Drink Establishments
         -   Hospitals, Nursing Homes, and Health Services
         -   Grocery Stores
         -   Hotel and Tourist Industry


    U.S. Department of Labor
                               Human Trafficking and WHD
WHD Partnerships and Compliance Assistance
•   WHD works with Consulates of Mexico and other
    countries, along with non-governmental
    organizations to reach out to immigrant
    communities and employer industries

•   To help immigrant workers understand their rights,
    WHD has translated numerous publications in Spanish
    and Asian languages, set up worker hotlines, and
    conducted numerous compliance assistance events to
    reach out to this population


    U.S. Department of Labor
                             Human Trafficking and WHD

WHD Goals
in Human Trafficking Investigations:

• Secure the victim/employees’ statutory right to
   compensation for work performed in the United
   States

• Determine accurate wages due in accordance with
   provisions within the Trafficking Victims Protection
   Act of 2000, Section 112(a)(2)




  U.S. Department of Labor
                               Human Trafficking and WHD

Application of WHD Expertise
•   WHD investigations apply:

         - Experience with low-wage, immigrant workers
           and industries

         - Familiarity with industry and business practices
           and trends under investigation

         - On-site investigations of establishments in
           industries where the potential for trafficking is
            high


    U.S. Department of Labor
                               Human Trafficking and WHD
How We Investigate: “On the Ground” Every Day

•   WHD interviews workers and employers on:

         -   Wages received
         -   Hours worked
         -   Deductions made
         -   Transportation methods to work
         -   Living and working conditions




    U.S. Department of Labor
                               Human Trafficking and WHD
How We Investigate: “On the Ground” Every Day
•   WHD investigative scope:

         – WH Investigators have the authority
           to interview individuals and request payroll
           records when conducting investigations of
           potential wage or other WHD violations

         – WH Investigators can identify situations where
           workers may be intimidated, threatened,
           or held against their will




    U.S. Department of Labor
                             Human Trafficking and WHD
“On the Ground” Every Day




  U.S. Department of Labor
                             Human Trafficking and WHD

WHD Assistance After Victim Identification
• Analysis of complicated payroll records

• Provision of technical expertise in computing
  accurate back wages and/or overtime

• Interviewing of potential victims of trafficking on
  wages and working conditions

• Reconstruction of wage entitlements




  U.S. Department of Labor
                             Human Trafficking and WHD

WHD Assistance After Victim Identification
• 18 U.S.C. §1593 (Mandatory Restitution)

       - created by TVPA of 2000, Section 112
       - provided that ordered restitution be the:

      ―greater of the gross income or value to the
       defendant of the victim’s services or labor
       or the value of the victim’s labor as
       guaranteed under the minimum wage and
       overtime guarantees of the Fair Labor Standards
       Act (29 U.S.C. 201, et seq.)‖



  U.S. Department of Labor
                             Human Trafficking and WHD

Interagency/Task Force Referrals
• Referrals from WHD:
  WHD may make referrals to other agencies and
  social service organizations via direct liaison, or
  to anti-trafficking task forces

• Other agency referrals to WHD:
  WHD can investigate labor violations even when
  underlying issues do not appear to rise to the
  level of human trafficking


  U.S. Department of Labor
                               Human Trafficking and WHD
Challenges in Combating Forced Labor:
Awareness
•   First responders to instances of trafficking:
       -   May be unfamiliar with labor and youth employment
           standards (victims may be wage earners, possibly
           underage, supporting others abroad or in the U.S.)

       - May not recognize potential employment
         relationships between employers and victims

       - May not identify individuals as employees subject to
         labor standards protection, in addition to being victims
         of trafficking


    U.S. Department of Labor
                               Human Trafficking and WHD

Criminal case assistance examples:
•   Kil Soo Lee – American Samoa
•   Juan & Ramiro Ramos – Florida
•   Pedro and Laurie Ramos – Michigan
•   Rainbow Buffet - Washington
•   El Puerto De La Union / El Paisano Bar – New Jersey




    U.S. Department of Labor
                             Human Trafficking and WHD

Criminal case assistance examples:

Daewoosa Samoa, Ltd.
Kil Soo Lee, owner

Garment factory
employing 271 Vietnamese
and Chinese workers
producing U.S. retailer-
labeled clothing




  U.S. Department of Labor
                             Human Trafficking and WHD

Criminal case assistance examples:

R & A Harvesting, Inc.
Juan and Ramiro Ramos

Farm labor contractors
running 700-man
citrus grove forced
labor camps

                                      Okeechobee, Florida (Wikipedia)




  U.S. Department of Labor
                              Human Trafficking and WHD

Criminal case assistance examples:

Fermin Pedro Ramos-Ramos
and Laurie Ramos

Domestic servitude,
trafficking into forced labor,
and aggravated sexual
abuse

Greenville, Michigan                Ramos home in Eureka Township — Greenville Daily
                                    News/Greg DeKraker, Jan 24, 2007



   U.S. Department of Labor
                             Human Trafficking and WHD

Criminal case assistance examples:

Rainbow Buffet, Inc.
Yan Shu and Jing Zheng

Conspiracy to
harbor and induce
illegal aliens,
violations of
labor laws

                                     Tacoma, Washington (Wikipedia)




  U.S. Department of Labor
                             Human Trafficking and WHD

Criminal case assistance examples:

El Puerto De La Union I/II,
El Paisano Bar and
Nightclub
Luisa Medrano, et al.

Trafficking, conspiracy to
commit forced labor, and
harboring of illegal aliens
                                    Victims smuggled from Olanchito, Honduras
                                    to Union City, New Jersey (via Houston, Texas)




  U.S. Department of Labor
                               Human Trafficking and WHD
Additional Resources
•   Wage and Hour Division: www.wagehour.dol.gov

•   Youth Employment: www.youthrules.dol.gov

•   Nationwide Toll-Free Help: Able to Translate in 150
    Languages 1-866-4-USWAGE / (1-866-487-9243)

•   Employment Law Guide:
    www.dol.gov/asp/programs/guide.htm




    U.S. Department of Labor
                     Questions?




U.S. Department of Labor

				
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