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Employee rights: Florida agency promises too good to be true?

As many people currently looking for work in a struggle economy know, finding employment can be a very difficult endeavor. When those looking for work are from other countries and hope to have a better start in a new one, it can almost seem too good to be true when an employer offers them assistance in gaining a job and work visa. Unfortunately, for some immigrant workers recruited by employers in other countries, promises of good working conditions are untrue and employee rights are infringed upon.

Several immigrant workers have filed a claim that Florida employment agencies fed them false promises in order to get the employees to work for their companies. The agencies reportedly told potential workers that they would have pleasant work environments and that the companies would help them attain green cards to work and live in the country. They were also told that they would receive fair pay for their work and be treated with respect at their places of employment. 

The workers claim that these promises were far from true. Their complaints list several labor violations including employers having workers stay in overcrowded homes and charging them outrageous fees for helping them acquire jobs. Employers often threatened their workers with deportation, lawsuits and job loss should they not comply with the employers' rules. The recruiters also allegedly used false information on documents used to acquire visas for the immigrant workers.

These workers feel they have been coerced into working in terrible conditions which violate their employee rights. When situations such as this one arise, employees are sometimes forced to take action against their employers when circumstances do not improve. By having information on Florida employment laws, workers who feel they are being treated unfairly or that their employers are violating labor laws may be able to understand what rights they are entitled to and how to proceed for improvement.

Source: Courthouse News Service, "Job Contractors Accused of Forced Labor," Marimer Matos, June 27, 2013

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