work, violence, xx news
It was Winston, a popular and good-looking head chef, who started to compliment her and make jokes. After a few days, they got personal and became inappropriate. Finally, he grabbed Veronika by the waist, pulled her body towards his and demanded a kiss.
Veronika was a student from Slovakia who came to the US with the Work and Travel program. When Winston started harassing her, she told her supervisor about the problem. Turned out, she was not the only one who accused him of sexual harassment. Winston got fired.
Surprisingly, some of her colleagues were angry at Veronika because they did not find the situation serious enough to discuss with the supervisor. Veronika no longer knew if did the right thing.
Another student from Slovakia, Natalia, who worked in another kitchen, claims that she was bullied. On top of that, she didn’t receive her promised salary. The Camp Leaders agency, used by both of the women, confirms that there is more than one complaint about the place where Natalia worked. However, they do not see a reason to interfere because, in general, there has been more positive than negative feedback about the facility.
Incidents of verbal bullying, hate speech or sexual harassment have become a common occurrence in Slovakian Work and Travel programs. It doesn’t help that some of the agencies, like The Camp Leaders, refuse to break contracts with institutions with reported cases of abuse.