The broader topic of “human trafficking” has justifiably been receiving increased attention lately from the media, law enforcement, and elected officials. But in the public’s mind, the term tends to conjure up, specifically, victims of the sex trade.
The other side of human trafficking, involving forced labor that is not necessarily sex-related, typically ensnares immigrant workers – whether those who are here with tenuous legal status or those who were brought to this country on false promises of legitimate, above-board employment.
The BBA’s Labor & Employment Law Section and the Human Trafficking Committee of our Delivery of Legal Services Section co-hosted a conversation with four representatives from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division. Carlos Matos, District Director of DOL’s Wage & Hour Division for the Boston District Office, led off with a review of the agency’s various responsibilities and its interaction with human trafficking. DOL has broad jurisdiction to enforce labor laws and conducts its own civil investigations, frequently in conjunction with the local U.S. Attorney’s office, to uncover workplace violations.
- Alec Zadek, Associate, Litigation Practice, Mintz Levin