Alice was determined to find a better life for herself. She was willing to work hard, but the opportunities in her native Kenya just weren’t there. So when a couple approached her with an offer to become a nanny for their family, move to a large modern city in a new country, and with a promise of good pay, Alice agreed.
As it turns out, all was not as good as it should have been. Despite having a written contract, Alice soon found herself having to work from 6:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. without a break. And when her child care duties were complete for the day, she was then forced to clean the house. Seven days a week.
Her pay never materialized. Her employer confiscated her passport and denied her access to a telephone. When the family chose to move to the United States, Alice asked to be released from her employment contract in order to return to her home. Her request was denied and she was told that, without her passport, if she tried to leave on her own, she would be arrested. The employer created a new employment contract that was in compliance with U.S. labor laws in order to bring Alice into the United States. But they still held her passport and again warned against trying to escape. Physical abuse soon followed as Alice fought back against her living conditions.
In short, Alice was a slave.
But her employer never counted on Alice being a fighter for her rights. She gathered the courage to tell her predicament to a neighbor in Los Angeles and that neighbor helped report the case to the authorities and Bet Tzedek.
FBI agents raided the home, retrieved Alice’s passport and freed her from the horrible situation. Upon meeting Alice and learning her story, Bet Tzedek attorneys sprang into action, seeking damages for human trafficking, unpaid wages, and more against her employer.
Today, Alice is free to pursue her dreams.
Click here to watch a video of Alice and hear her story in her own words.