Hundreds of Filipino guestworkers lured to teach in Louisiana public schools were cheated out of tens of thousands of dollars and forced into exploitative contracts by an international trafficking ring run by labor contractors, according to a class action lawsuit filed August 5 by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and Covington & Burling LLP.
The federal lawsuit was filed on behalf of more than 350 Filipino teachers working in Louisiana under the federal H-1B guestworker program. It accuses officials of two labor contractors – Universal Placement International, based in Los Angeles, and its sister organization, Manila-based PARS International Placement Agency – of human trafficking, racketeering and fraud. The suit also names the East Baton Rouge Public School System, several school district officials and a California lawyer, Robert Silverman, based on their roles in the fraudulent trafficking scheme. Read More