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Businesswoman Gets Indicted for Subjecting Her Housemaid to Slave-Like Labor Conditions

05/16/2018 - 12h39

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LUCAS VETTORAZZO
RIO DE JANEIRO

The Public Prosecutor's Office (MPF) brought charges against a businesswoman in Rio de Janeiro for subjecting her housemaid to slave-like labor conditions.

The MPF requested that the 3rd Federal Criminal Court convict the businesswoman for torture and for practicing labor conditions analogous to slavery, and also requested that she pay just compensation for moral damages.

According to the MPF, which did not disclose the names of the parties involved, the crimes were committed between December of 2010 and February of 2011. The defendant subjected her employee to "exhausting work hours", reduced her "freedom of movement", did not allow her to quit due to a debt she owed and even forced the maid to go seven days without eating any food.

The MPF maintains that the employer submitted the maid to bonded labor, which is when an employee can't pay back a loan to their employer, leading the latter to force the employee to work for an indefinite period of time.

The victim also reported to the authorities that she had been subjected to exhausting work hours, having worked from 7:00 am until midnight and that she was not entitled to a weekly day off.

The maid also said that she was berated, having heard from the defendant things like "you're poor and dirty" after being denied a seat in a chair - otherwise the chair "would have to be cleaned with alcohol".

Folha was unable to contact the maid or the employer. The maid's version of the events was corroborated by the testimony of another employee who also worked at the home.

Translated by THOMAS MATHEWSON

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