Article from The Washington Post

Thousands of ICE detainees claim they were forced into labor, a violation of anti-slavery laws

By Kristine Phillips March 5

Tens of thousands of immigrants detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement were forced to work for $1 day, or for nothing at all — a violation of federal anti-slavery laws — a lawsuit claims.

The lawsuit, filed in 2014 against one of the largest private prison companies in the country, reached class-action status this week after a federal judge’s ruling. That means the case could involve as many as 60,000 immigrants who have been detained.

It’s the first time a class-action lawsuit accusing a private U.S. prison company of forced labor has been allowed to move forward.

“That’s obviously a big deal; it’s recognizing the possibility that a government contractor could be engaging in forced labor,” said Nina DiSalvo, executive director of Towards Justice, a Colorado-based nonprofit group that represents low-wage workers, including undocumented immigrants. “Certification of the class is perhaps the only mechanism by which these vulnerable individuals who were dispersed across the country and across the world would ever be able to vindicate their rights.”

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WMOT Radio Interview

As Shepherds See Higher Wages, Ranchers Adapt

  FEB 24, 2017
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La Opinion

Miles de ex detenidos de carcel de inmigración privada podrán unirse a demanda por “trabajo forzado”

Hacían todo el trabajo en el centro de detención a cambio de 1 dolar por día y, a veces, so pena de castigos. Demanda de nueve se volvió ahora de miles, debido a la decisión de un juez.
Hace tres años, un grupo de nueve migrantes que estuvieron o estaban detenidos en un centro de detención de migrantes propiedad de la multinacional Geo Group en Aurora, Colorado, demandó a la empresa alegando trabajos forzados y enriquecimiento ilegal por el uso de detenidos para el trabajo de mantenimiento de la cárcel.
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Article from The Denver Post

Class action suit: Immigrants held in Aurora required to work for $1 a day, threatened with solitary if refused
Suit on behalf of 62,000 detainees could have far-reaching impact as President Trump ramps up immigration enforcement

About 62,000 people who were held in an Aurora immigration detention center and required to work, sometimes for $1 a day, while they awaited possible deportation have been certified as a class in a lawsuit alleging violations of the federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act.

Senior Judge John Kane’s ruling could have far-reaching implications, potentially boosting the cost of holding immigration detainees by millions of dollars at a time when President Donald Trump’s administration gears up to deport millions more people who are living in the U.S. illegally.

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Article from MENAFN

Sawaya Law Firm Orchestrates $8,500 Donation to Non-Profit Organization: Towards Justice - The Sawaya Law Firm

(MENAFN Editorial) Law firm names "Towards Justice" as recipient of Cy Pres funds. In two recent Colorado court decisions district court judges have approved the payment of unclaimed funds in wage and hour class actions to a Colorado non-profit that provides legal services to low-wage workers who have not been paid what they are owed under the wage and hour laws. 

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2/27/2017 Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tens of Thousands of Immigrant Detainees Proceed in Class Action Lawsuit Alleging the Country’s Second Largest Private Prison Provider Engaged in Forced Labor

Denver, CO – For the first time in history, a federal court allowed a class of immigrant detainees to jointly proceed with forced labor claims against the country’s second-largest private prison provider. Judge Kane in the District of Colorado certified a class of between 50,000 and 60,000 current and former immigrant detainees held at GEO’s Aurora, Colorado detention facility since 2004. These individuals, some of whom were found to legally reside in this country after months in detention, allege that they were forced to clean the detention center without pay and under threat of solitary confinement. This practice allowed GEO to reduce labor costs at the Aurora facility, where it employs just one custodian to maintain a detention center that houses up to 1,500 people at a time.

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Article From Law360

Judge OKs Class Of 50K Detainees In TVPA Suit Against Geo

By Melissa Daniels

https://www.law360.com/articles/896201/judge-oks-class-of-50k-detainees-in-tvpa-suit-against-geo

Law360, Los Angeles (February 27, 2017, 7:30 PM EST) -- A Colorado federal judge on Monday granted class certification to tens of thousands of immigrant detainees in their suit accusing a privately owned detention facility of forcing them to clean the facility for no pay and grossly underpaying them for work programs, saying the detainees had enough in common to meet the requirements.

The case, filed in 2014 against The Geo Group, alleges that detainees at the Aurora Detention Facility were ordered to clean up the facility for free in violation of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act...

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Article from International Business Times

Prison Slavery: Over 50,000 Detainees Claim Forced Labor, Sue Private Prison Company

BY KASIA KOVACS ON 02/28/17 AT 12:44 PM

International Business Times

http://www.ibtimes.com/prison-slavery-over-50000-detainees-claim-forced-labor-sue-private-prison-company-2499039

At least 50,000 former and current detainees, who said they were forced to work for little or no wages at a private prison in Colorado, got approval from a judge Monday to join a class-action lawsuit against the prison company GEO Group. The plaintiffs claimed they were forced to clean the facility for very little money, and sometimes no money at all. Guards at the prison — a detention center meant to hold undocumented immigrants — also threatened to throw detainees in solitary confinement, the plaintiffs said in the case, which was originally filed in 2014.

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Article from The Daily Beast

Detainees Sue Private Prison for ‘Forced Labor'

As many as 60,000 current and former detainees may join a class-action suit against one of the nation’s largest private prison companies over unpaid labor.

By:  BETSY WOODRUFF

02.27.17 5:10 PM ET

The Daily Beast

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/02/27/detainees-sue-private-prison-for-forced-labor.html

The nation’s second largest private prison company is facing some serious legal challenges—and other companies may soon be in the same situation.

On Monday, a federal judge ruled that current and former detainees held at an immigrant detention center in Colorado can join a class-action lawsuit against GEO Group, a private prison company. The plaintiffs allege that the GEO Group forced detainees to work for extremely low wages or for no wages at all, and in some cases threatened detainees with solitary confinement as punishment if they refused to work. The center holds undocumented immigrants facing deportation.

 

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Article from Consumer Affairs

Carl's Jr. parent company accused of wage suppression and unfair business practices The lawsuit could mean trouble for CEO Andy Puzder, who awaits confirmation to become Labor Secretary

By: Christopher Maynard of Consumer Affairs 

One former employee and one current employee of Carl’s Jr. have filed a lawsuit against the chain’s parent company Carl Karcher Enterprises LLC (CKE), charging the company of wage suppression and unfair business practices, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The pair claims that CKE and its franchisees colluded with each other to bar employees in management positions from transferring between restaurants. This action, they say, effectively halts any attempt by workers who are seeking a raise from threatening to work at a different franchisee.

 

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