Prison Labor Class Action Lawsuit Investigation

Sauder Schelkopf is committed to social justice and upholding the civil rights of all individuals. We are investigating potential class action lawsuits on behalf of prisoners who for decades have worked in American correctional facilities for no wages or pennies an hour. Prisoners are not protected by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which establishes a minimum wage and overtime pay private sector and government workers. Prisoners are also excluded from the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration protections that require a safe work environment.  State corrections are allowed to coordinate with private industries to produce prison-made goods. As reported by the Brennan Center, “Today, approximately 55 percent of the American prison population works while serving their sentences. Prison jobs are broadly divided into two categories: prison support work — such as food preparation, laundry services, and maintenance work — and ‘correctional industries’ jobs, in which prisoners might make license plates, sew military uniforms, or staff a call center.” In 2016, President Barak Obama signed into law the Trade Facilitation and Enforcement Act. This legislation now makes it illegal for the United States to import items into made with prison labor. Thus, it is now illegal to import prison-made apparel; but legal to make it in the U.S.

Sauder Schelkopf is a nationally recognized class action and personal injury law firm. The firm’s partners currently serve as court appointed lead counsel in courts across the country and have been selected by the National Trial Lawyers Association as some of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Pennsylvania since 2012. The attorneys at Sauder Schelkopf have recovered over $500 million on behalf of their clients and class members.

Sauder Schelkopf attorneys have handled high impact lawsuits in the pursuit of social justice and in order to protect individual civil rights.  Our attorneys have fought for social and economic injustice.

  • Prisoner Rights:  Represented pre-trial detainees in two civil rights class action settlements involving unlawful strip searches.
  • Juvenile Justice: We currently represent hundreds of individuals whose rights were violated while they were detained in a juvenile detention facility.
  • Women’s Rights: We have successfully pursued Title IX claims to hold educational institutions accountable for sexual violence.

We Want to Hear from You

If you or a loved one performed labor while in prison for little or no compensation, please contact the lawyers at Sauder Schelkopf by filling out the form on this page or call 888.711.9975

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