This is the Era of the Victim, or the Era of the Oppressed.
But you know, many of the so-called “victims” are only victims of their own ignorance and arrogance. Some victims – like those of rape, robbery, assault, fraud – have legitimate grievances, while others only have it in their own heads that they think they deserve special accommodations because they choose to let their own labels and identity keep them down, instead of actually doing the work necessary to get ahead.
I will get off my soapbox with this final comment – those of you who are workers should not be complaining about being victims or being treated like slaves, because the truth is you are living high in your occupations compared to 18th- and 19th-century slaves in the United States. And you know what? You have labor unions and occupational safety professionals to thank for that.
Thank to unions, workers have better working conditions, better work shifts, better wages and are safer on the job than any slave or worker prior to the turn of the 20th century. I believer that the U.S. Department of Labor is on to something with its latest initiative – those who think they are being treated as “slaves” are just uninformed, or they are allowing federal laws to be broken. Either way, workers need education, information and assistance to address these issues in an anonymous way.
All this comes together with an interactive online tool called a website delivered by the U.S. Department of Labor, which covers workers’ rights, employers’ expectations and provides education and information about each of these areas plus a way to report violations of labor laws or to get information about next steps should a violation need to be investigated.
The website provides a lot of information about the federal bureaucracy, the various labor-related agencies, labor laws and regulations, and presents them in a way that is interesting and understandable for workers at all levels of skill and education.
Although active, it is still in a developmental phase as users provide feedback and comments about the site as they use it. But its initial mission is to provide workers all the information they need, when they need it. In other words, the department seems to acknowledge that workers may only use the site for when there is a problem at work.
Inthat instance, the site provides a quick survey of a few questions that the user answers to better diagnose the problem, and the site then will provide the user with the information, guidance and resources relevant to that situation.
As an example, under a section dedicated to safety rights of workers, the website can provide several options that might describe your situation – such as working on unsafe machines, noting a lack of safety gear being provided by an employer, or even unsafe activities being blamed on workers while employers or supervisors hold no accountability.
Even before you have a problem, pay a visit to the website and take a look at the various scenarios rhat are addressed so you can understand how to use the tool, and also learn about the depth and breadth of worker safety rules and legislation that protect workers from slavish working conditions.