Gina* moved to the U.S. from Mexico when she was 17 years old to work in a factory in Philadelphia. She lived in a space above the factory floor with the other three workers. They slept on bare mattresses on the floor. They had no heat in the winter and bathed with a bucket and hose. Gina worked more than 72 hours each week but was paid only $200. Her employer promised to help her get a green card, so she kept working. They never helped her get legal status.
When her employer sold the business, she was passed along to a relative of the factory owner to work in the restaurant he owned. At the restaurant Gina suffered regular sexual harassment and finally got away after an attempted assault by the owner.
Gina met FOF staff through our partnership with health clinic Puentes de Salud. Since connecting with us, this client has applied for lawful immigration status and has been connected to specialized social service providers who work with victims of labor trafficking. Gina is owed many thousands of dollars in unpaid wages. We are currently working with Gina to try to recover at least some of the unpaid wages and damages she is owed.
*Name and identifying facts changed for obvious reasons.