Exploitation in the workplace can be encountered in very different ways, such as trafficking and prostitution, but also in milder forms, such as when an employer forces an employee to work longer than the agreed upon period of time. What is work-place exploitation and how do you protect yourself from it?
The most common forms of exploitation are exploitation of an employee’s vulnerability, misrepresentation of working conditions, prohibition of contact with relatives and use of physical and/or sexual violence, intimidation and threats, non-payment of wages, creation of debt obligation, provision of inhumane working and living conditions, and dispossession of personal identification documents. Exploitation can also be a situation wherein an employer forces you to work overtime, controls the employee’s movements in an indefinitely large manner or even restricts them.
In all of the above cases, the employee’s rights are being violated to a greater or lesser extent, and in most cases this is punishable by law. To get help, be sure to contact the Labour Inspectorate. Talking to your employer can also help if the exploitation occurs in a milder form, such as them giving you false information. In the event of more serious exploitation, such as physical or sexual violence, the police should be contacted immediately.
This explanation does not constitute legal aid in a specific case. Therefore, if you feel that you have been treated unequally, but you did not find a solution to your problem in this article, or if you have a question, please contact the Equality Commissioner by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone +372 626 9059. The anonymity of the person is guaranteed when contacting the Commissioner.