This past summer, a PDS student named Malachi Daniel was forced to labor for free. He spent a whole month painstakingly repairing cars at the Clinton Auto Care mechanic shop under the hot sun in Maryland, and he never received any kind of payment.
Daniel claimed that it was above ninety degrees every day there, and the combination of heat and physical exertion left him drenched in sweat at the end of every work day.
"My hands were perpetually caked with black grease and soot from handling car parts. Sweat beads blinded me constantly. I felt miserable."
While he had access to food and water at his workplace, that certainly doesn’t excuse a lack of monetary payment. Daniel was in Maryland to spend time with his father, and certainly wasn't expecting to to be fixing cars the whole time. He performed countless oil changes, tire swaps, and even had to learn how to weld. While he did gain some skills and working experience, Daniel says that the time he spent there didn't even come close to being worth it.
As if it weren’t already bad enough, Daniel isn’t even legally old enough to work. The sick owner of this Maryland mechanic forced a fifteen year old child to work for him for free. No legal action has been taken. Daniel, being the kind soul that he is, does not see it necessary to press any charges.
Image courtesy of the author
Today, Daniel has fully recovered from his free labor experience, both physically and mentally. He is happy and hopes to someday have a job that pays him well.