Au Pair Litigation: Beltran v. Noonan et al
A nationwide class consisting of tens of thousands of au pairs launched claims of price fixing, racketeering and wage theft against fifteen U.S. Department of State-designated “cultural exchange” sponsor organizations. These defendants bring approximately 13,000 foreign, mostly female, workers between the ages of 18 and 26 to the United States each year through the J-1 visa program to provide live-in child care to American families. The plaintiffs charge that these sponsors acted as a cartel to illegally set au pair wages far below the market rate, and that some sponsors fraudulently misled potential au pairs in violation of racketeering and consumer protection laws. Each of the fifteen sponsors offers au pair labor at the rate of $195.75 per week, or only $4.35 per hour – far below the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, not to mention many states’ more generous minimum wages. Towards Justice represents the plaintiff au pairs with co-counsel Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP.