America has always attracted those who wish to better their lives, but many of those who settled in this country did so because of abusive labor laws that permitted indentured labor. The Pilgrims made the voyage to the New World in search of religious freedom, but others arrived from Europe involuntarily. During the 1700s, a person in England generally became an indentured servant, either because of an act of war or an act of desperation. The only real difference between an indentured servant and a slave was that the indenture was for a set number of years. When that time ended, the person was released from forced labor. While indentured, the person’s labor was owned by another person.
For example, during the mid-1700s, Scotland attempted to overthrow the rule of the Protestant King George II in favor of the exiled Catholic Prince Charles Stuart, commonly known as Bonnie Prince Charlie. The uprising failed disastrously, leading to the devastation of the Scottish clans, especially those in the Highlands. Those Scottish warriors who survived were imprisoned; eventually, many were sent to America as indentured servants, usually for 20 years. The economy of Scotland was destroyed by warfare and famine, with many dying from starvation. As an act of desperation, families sold themselves into indenture for the cost of the ship fare to America.
Would the United States exist as a separate country if England had not imposed abusive labor and trade laws on the Colonies? In Massachusetts, the Boston Tea Party became a symbol of the fight for freedom by the common man. Unfair labor and trade practices were important factors in the desire for independence that led to the American Revolutionary War. To know more, click here.
Today, the fight against unjust violations of employment labor laws in Northampton, MA continues. Protecting an employee from sexual harassment, age discrimination, unpaid overtime, or other illegal practices is important to the employee and to society at large. There has been tremendous progress made in employment laws, but most of that progress is result of individuals seeking protection of their rights from the courts.
Connor, Morneau & Olin is dedicated to assisting individuals or labor unions that have been harmed by unfair employment practices. Anyone seeking experienced legal representation in matters regarding employment labor laws in Northampton, MA should schedule an appointment to discuss legal options. The firm also focuses on consumer law and ancillary legal services.