Yesterday, I read a post over at Business Management Daily about an employee who sued for involuntary servitude.
Yes, folks. The plaintiff claimed that her former employer had treated her like a slave.
Specifically, the plaintiff, a trainee of some sort, alleged that she was never provided with a job description or adequately trained.
(Stop me if this sounds familiar)
The plaintiff next alleged that her supervisor specifically told her that normal working hours were Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
(I don’t know about you, but I just stepped away for five minutes to update my resume to submit to the defendant)
The plaintiff further alleged that she worked in less than ideal working conditions, where she wasn’t compensated for any work performed in excess of forty hours per week, including the work she was required to take home with her and perform on the weekend.
(Ok, maybe not resume worthy, and a possible FLSA violation to boot. But slavery?)
No slavery according to the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania (opinion here):
In the present case, plaintiff alleges challenging working conditions. Plaintiff’s work environment, however, does not evoke in the court’s mind the burdens endured by the African slaves in the cotton fields or kitchens of the antebellum south. Moreover, the general defense against oppressive hours, pay, working conditions or treatment is the right to change employers. Plaintiff never claimed that the defendants physically restrained her or prevented her from leaving work. Rather, she always maintained the right to walk away from defendants’ employment. In short, plaintiff has not alleged that her employment with defendants rose to the level of involuntary servitude.
What’s the takeaway here? Oh, I dunno. Don’t violate the 13th Amendment.