Three staffing companies were hit with a $76,000 judgment in a lawsuit which claimed that they violated the Trafficking Victims Protection Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act by luring a Filipino man to the United States with false promises of a highly paid full-time job.
The staffing companies recruited Dustin Macolor at a shopping mall in the Philippines for a full-time position in New York as a physical therapist at a rate of $31.15 an hour. After Macolor paid his own way to the U.S., the staffing companies initially required him to “volunteer” for no pay, then refused to give him full-time employment or pay him $31.15 an hour. When Macolor said that he had to seek employment elsewhere, Malacor was told that his employment contract prohibited him from working for another employer and was threatened with a lawsuit for $20,000 in so-called “ liquidated damages.”
The staffing companies were ordered United States District Court by Judge Jesse Furman, in Southern District of New York, to pay Macolor damages and attorneys’ fees and costs totaling $76,000. Judge Furman’s decision was based on Report and Recommendation of Judge Ronald L. Ellis.