Ex-Dean of St. John’s University Charged with Using Student as Servants

In the fall of 2010, a former administrator at St. John’s University named Cecilia Chang, 57 years old, has been accused of embezzling about $1 million from the Queens college campus as well as forcing students to clean, cook and act as her personal servants to keep their scholarships.  As the dean of the Institute of Asian Studies, Ms. Chang had the authority to grant 15 scholarships a year.  Most of the recipients were from overseas and were told they had to work 20 hours a week under her supervision. The students thought they would be doing work-study labor. Instead, prosecutors claim she forced them to perform menial tasks at her home in Jamaica Estates, Queens.   Chang made it clear that if the students did not perform their extracurricular duties, they would lose their scholarships, which totaled about $5,000.00.  St. John’s officials said that the students who worked under Ms. Chang would not be in danger of losing their scholarships.  Read more

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes standards for minimum wages, overtime pay, record keeping, and child labor. The Act covers the following regardless of their annual dollar amount claimed: hospitals; institutions engaged in the care of the sick, aged, mentally ill, or disabled who reside on the premises; schools for children who are mentally or physically disabled or gifted; preschools, elementary and secondary schools, and institutions of higher education; and federal, state, and local government agencies.  Read More

The law firm of Leeds Morelli & Brown, PC, zealously represents aggrieved clients who have suffered from slave labor labor abuses.  If you or someone you know has been faced with a labor dispute, unpaid overtime, wage dispute, or slave labor, please contact Leeds Morelli & Brown, PC at 1-888-585-4658, One Old Country Road, Suite 347, Carle Place, NY, 11514-1851.