Wednesday, November 16, 2022

The 14th (and final) nominee for the “Worst Employer of 2022” is … the slumlord supervisor

"Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."

That's the language of the 13th Amendment of the Constitution. Someone needs to provide Emmanuel Polanco, principal of MS 80 in the Bronx, a civics refresher. He's accused of shaking down a group of 10 teachers assigned to his school from a Department of Education program that brought teachers from the Dominican Republic to teach bilingual education in city schools.

It's the details of the shakedown, however, that will shake you.

According to the New York Post, Polanco operated an illegal boarding house where the put the immigrant teachers and charged them $1,450 each month as their slumlord. Polanco then allegedly threatened them with deportation if they didn't go along with his scheme. "If you leave, you might get in trouble," he warned them. "You can leave, but if you go, you go back to the Dominican Republic." Several who refused were terminated from the jobs.

Said State Senator Luis Sepulveda, "I was floored by what I heard. I was floored. I was disturbed ... allegations of this kind being made." The District, meanwhile, has removed Polanco from that school and "reassigned" him pending the outcome of an investigation. 

If you bring employees from a foreign country and make them your indentured servants by threatening deportation if they don't agree to live in a building you own pay you exorbitant rent, you might be the worst employer of 2022.

And with that, this year's Worst Employer list draws to a close. I'll be spending the next couple of weeks reviewing the 14 nominees to pare them down to a more manageable number for voting. Please come back on December 1 when the voting will open and you will finally have your chance to weigh in on who will be the winner (or loser, depending on how you look at it) of 2022's Worst Employer.