Labor trafficking victims in the restaurant industry work well over the typical 40-hour workweek. Meanwhile, they’re earning below minimum wage while simultaneously striving to pay off a debt (this is known as debt bondage).
To continue their crimes without consequences, labor traffickers often make threats against those they are trafficking.
Deprivation of work breaks and meals is likewise sadly common. The same too applies to traffickers weaponizing potential deportation over trafficking victims without legal US citizens.
The reporting nightmare
Someone hearing about labor trafficking in the restaurant industry may wonder why victims of this crime don’t always report it to the authorities. Yet, many labor trafficking victims lack awareness of where to turn for help or how to report it.
Language barriers, a lack of familiarity with the environment, or even not understanding that what they’re experiencing is a crime also stand as serious barriers against rescue.
Many of these folks also worry about what they will do for work if they lose the very little bit of money they may be earning at the hands of their traffickers.