In a new opinion piece, Frontiers of Freedom president George Landrith argues that a network of activist trial attorneys is pursuing “completely inappropriate” human trafficking and RICO claims against a healthcare staffing company. The lawsuit, if successful, could exacerbate the nation’s staffing shortages.

The lawsuit boils down to the labor contracts signed by foreign-trained nurses that commit them to a specific employment period. Healthcare staffing companies ask for the commitment after investing in nurses by paying for their immigration and licensure costs to work in the U.S.

Landrith notes that some activists advocate for using the Trafficking Victims Protection Act to prohibit recruiters from seeking damages when workers choose to breach their contracts by quitting before their end date. The trial attorneys argue that following up on contractual damages amounts to committing human trafficking.

Landrith writes that should the lawsuit succeed, the new precedent would “ultimately [harm] the quality of U.S. healthcare and [diminish] opportunities for foreign-educated healthcare professionals.” Healthcare staffing companies would be hobbled in their ability to recruit and place qualified foreign-educated workers, resulting in less quality care for American patients.

Read the full opinion piece here.