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No One Can Force You to Work against Your Will

Contents

    You cannot be forced to work against your will. This is true even if you previously agreed to work or you are being paid or receiving other compensation for your work.

    Your right to freedom is not limited by:

    • Your immigration status, documentation, or lack of documentation

    • Your debt to another person

    • Another person’s power in the U.S. or another country

    It is illegal, a violation of your rights, and a serious crime for anybody to:

    • Make false promises about working conditions, living conditions, or pay

    • Withhold your wages or bonus as a way of controlling your movements

    • Take away your passport, birth certificate, or identification card as a way of controlling your movements

    • Use threats or force you to work to pay a debt

    • Threaten to report you to immigration officers as a way of controlling your movements or forcing you to work

    • Force or pressure you into prostitution or other sexual acts

    • Use you for any kind of sexual act (whether or not you have given consent) if you are under 18

    • Threaten that you or your family will be harmed, deported, arrested, or turned over to authorities if you try to leave your employment, complain of mistreatment, report the situation to authorities, or seek help

    If you are the victim of a serious crime, you may be eligible for the following benefits

    • Lawful immigrant status

    • Emergency food and shelter

    • Emergency medical help

    • Translation services

    • Counseling and legal help

    To learn more, read Visas Available to Victims of Crimes (coming soon).

    If you or somebody you know has been forced to work against their will, call:

    • 1-888-373-7888 Trafficking in Persons and Worker Exploitation Task Force

    • 1-800-968-4046 Farmworker Legal Services

    This information was provided by Farmworker Legal Services (FLS). FLS is a legal aid office with lawyers and other legal staff who provide free legal assistance and referrals to migrant and seasonal farmworkers throughout Michigan.