Judge won't dismiss Filipinos' trafficking case
NEW ORLEANS - A federal judge in California has refused to dismiss human trafficking accusations in a lawsuit filed by teachers recruited from the Philippines to work in Louisiana.
The lawsuit, filed last year, charges a California company illegally required the teachers to pay thousands of dollars in fees to be hired for jobs in East Baton Rouge Parish and other school districts. Defendants include the California company and some East Baton Rouge Parish school officials.
Lawyers with the Southern Poverty Law Center say the Wednesday ruling is significant because it holds that federal human trafficking law is violated when people are forced into such debt that they have no choice but to comply with the demands of recruiters or employers.