On Being a Slave to One’s Job


The 13th Amendment to the Constitution outlawed slavery in the United States, and a federal statute (18 U.S.C. § 1584) makes it a crime to hold someone into involuntary servitude. Recently, a plaintiff asserted an “involuntary servitude” claim in federal court. The plaintiff alleged she was not given a job description or adequate training, and had to work with two other women in a hotel suite that was disorganized, loud, and unprofessional. She also claimed she had to work 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. during the week, and take home work on the weekends. While beauty might be in the eye of the beholder, the Court explained that a worker who is unhappy with working conditions but who is free to leave the job is not a slave, and so the claim had to be dismissed. Mulqueen v. Energy Force, LLC et al., No 3:13-cv-01138-JMM-TMB (W.D. Pa. Nov. 14, 2013).

Topics:  Employer Liability Issues

Published In: Constitutional Law Updates, Labor & Employment Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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