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Sales agents are often afraid to go to the police to ask for help. This may be true for you if you are a former agent. But even if the police have not been so kind to you while you were selling on territory, they will, in fact, help you if you run into trouble while trying to leave a crew or retrieve your possessions from a motel room. Sometimes, if necessary, the police can talk to a manager who is not forthcoming with a bus ticket home.
There are other kinds of problems that may surface where the police can help.
If you have suffered an injury while on crew, or have been refused medical treatment by crew personnel while on crew, go to the nearest emergency room and get yourself taken care of (call the police for help with this if necessary). Then ask for a copy of your medical record, including any after care instructions, prescriptions, and so on. Take photographs of any injuries. Write down what happened and date it. Then file a police report with the local police department, and ask for a copy of the complaint. (Allow the police to make copies of your medical paperwork, but keep the originals.) When the bill for medical expenses arrives at your home, keep it with your other documents. Depending upon the nature of the event, the police department may take action and want you to return to their jurisdiction for future court dates.
Parent Watch would like to hear about your situation and how it is being handled by the authorities. Please contact us and let us know how it is going.
If you have been prevented from leaving a crew, been handled roughly or harassed while trying to leave a crew, or have had your personal possessions kept from you by crew personnel, you must make a complaint to the local police department. Get a copy of your police report. Depending on the situation, the police may take action and then want you to return to their jurisdiction for future court dates.
Parent Watch would like to hear about your situation and how it is being handled by the authorities. Please contact us.
Most complaints can be handled as outlined above. However, you may have special circumstances, for instance:
If you were selling any sort of cleaning product on crew, and were in contact with chemicals while selling, or were mixing chemicals to be sold, AND you have physical symptoms (bleeding gums, cracked lips, sores, rashes, hives, trouble breathing, etc.) get medical treatment at the nearest emergency room. Get a copy of the medical report.
There is an agency concerned with occupational safety that will take your complaint. Go to www.osha.gov/as/opa/worker/complain.html on your computer, or at the computer in your library. File a detailed complaint, and follow any other instructions they may give you, including submission of your medical report. You may be referred to your state OSHA office. Print out a copy of all complaints that you file, or back up the complaints on your computer.
We would like to know how your complaint is being handled. Contact us.
If you, your parents, or other helpers think there have been child labor law violations, you or they can go to the U.S. Department of Labor’s website at www.dol.gov/esa/contacts/state_of.htm. Look for your State DOL office and click on that. There are a number of ways to make a complaint, especially if you were injured. The DOL will advise you, your parents or helpers on filing complaints with other agencies as well.
Regardless of the product you sell, if you are a minor and something bad has happened to you while you were selling on crew, you or your parents can file a police report with the local police department. Collect medical records, if necessary, take photographs, and make and date notes on the incident. The police department may take action, depending on the situation and they may need you and your parents to attend future court proceedings.
Parent Watch would like to know how the process is going. Please contact us and let us know.
If you were selling magazines and you were injured or mistreated, file complaints as described above, but also complain to the Magazine Publishers of America, at www.magazine.org. (Address your complaint to Ms. Nina Link, the President of MPA.) The MPA is the trade group for several hundred publications. In your complaint, name all the publications that you can remember selling. If you actually have a copy of your selling list, that is even better. The MPA can forward your complaint to member publishers whose titles you were selling.
In your complaint, name the company and individuals you were working for, and their home office address. Then inform the MPA that you have injury documentation, if applicable (your hospital and/or police report, and other paperwork or photographs of injuries). Send copies of your documents if requested, but don’t send your originals.
Parent Watch would like to know if your complaint is being handled to your satisfaction. Please contact us.
You can make a complaint by telephone to the U.S. Department of Justice Worker Exploitation Task Force if your movement was restricted while working on a sales crew, or you were held against your will and your earnings were withheld from you. Have any police reports or hospital records and photographs available, if applicable. The Task Force telephone number is 1.888.428.7581. Your call may be answered by a machine, which will deliver its message in several languages. Leave your contact information and your call will be returned.
The Task Force accepts complaints from groups of people who worked for the same company.
Please let Parent Watch know that you have filed a complaint with the DOJ and let us know if you are satisfied with the way it is being handled. Contact us.