Friday Night Story

Bought & Sold

$250,000. A quarter of a million Frosties, or a Gallardo Spyder convertible. It seemed like a bad joke at first, that the Congress put a dollar amount on people. The Civil Fairness Act created a cap on non-economic damage liability up to and including wrongful death.

Then we found out about the women. America has long been an international resource for management staff. Last December, federal investigators discovered that one out of every hundred female management applicants for one of America’s largest retailers, WalCo, was secretly being diverted to a third party.

These women were then smuggled out of country and groomed for alternate employment. Most were coerced, under threat of violence, to work in sweat shops, supposedly to pay for their room and board. This boarding consisted of a shared “dorm” with no furniture and insufficient space for all of the women to sleep, and a diet consisting of bread, water and three ounces of dried, salted meat per day. A smaller contingent were sold into domestic servitude, which in some cases included sexual slavery.

According to internal memos, several persons in mid level management were aware of and coordinated the scheme, and may face individual criminal prosecution. WalCo’s human resource statistics show that 87% of the women have been located and returned to their families. These and surviving relatives of the remaining women have filed a class action lawsuit. The maximum award, granted to the missing women’s families and any others with physical evidence to corroborate their accounts, was $250,000. Families were dismayed when the justices informed them that the government could put a price on their loved ones’ lives.

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