November 14, 2018
  • Former detainees worked in jobs around detention center
  • Paid as little as $1 per day, they say

CoreCivic Inc. has been sued by former asylum-seekers who say it paid them less than minimum wage while they were held in detention.

Hundreds of current and former detainees may be eligible to join the lawsuit, according to the complaint, a copy of which was provided to Bloomberg Law. A representative in the clerk’s office at the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland confirmed that the complaint was filed Nov. 14 but said that it doesn’t yet appear in the court’s electronic case filing system.

CoreCivic, formerly known as Corrections Corp. of America, provides detention and corrections services to governmental agencies. It derived 47 percent of its revenue from the federal government in 2017, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.

The asylum-seekers who filed the complaint were detained at the U.S.-Mexico border before being held for Immigration and Customs Enforcement at the Cibola County Correctional Center in New Mexico, in 2017, according to a press release. They’ve been granted asylum and no longer are in detention, it says.

The former detainees were paid as little as one dollar per day for work in the detention center’s library and kitchen, and as janitors, they say. They should have been paid at least the federal minimum wage, which is $7.25, they say.

The complete article can be accessed here.

 

Cohen Milstein is lead counsel in this lawsuit.