November 14, 2018

A putative class of immigrant detainees who claim their wages were stolen by the owner of a privately run detention facility in New Mexico sued the company for over $5 million in Maryland federal court on Wednesday, alleging the facility failed to pay them adequate wages.

The three men from Cameroon want CoreCivic Inc. to pay them and other similarly situated detainees who labored at Cibola County Correctional Center in Milan, New Mexico, at least $5 million after the company allegedly violated the Fair Labor Standards Act and the New Mexico Minimum Wage Act by paying them as little as $1 a day for “volunteer” work at the site, according to the complaint filed in the District of Maryland.

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“Those seeking asylum in this country who have committed no crimes here, like the men who have brought this action, are entitled to be paid minimum wage for the labor they perform for others,” said Joseph M. Sellers, an attorney representing the putative class, in a statement on Wednesday.

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The putative class is represented by Joseph M. Sellers and D. Michael Hancock of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, Robert S. Libman, Nancy Maldonado, Deanna Pihos, Benjamin Blustein and Matthew J. Owens of Miner Barnhill & Galland PC and R. Andrew Free of the Law Office of R. Andrew Free.

The complete article can be accessed here.