SEATTLE, Oct. 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — A class action lawsuit has been filed in federal court in Riverside, California, against The GEO Group, Inc. (“GEO”). GEO operates the Adelanto ICE Processing Center in Adelanto, California as a subcontractor for the City of Adelanto. The name of the case is Novoa, et al. v. The GEO Group, Inc., No. 5:17-cv-02514. A federal judge decided that this lawsuit should be a class action on behalf of the following “Classes” and “Subclasses”:
The Adelanto Wage Class: All civilly detained immigrants who (i) were detained at the Adelanto ICE Processing Center any time since December 19, 2014, and either (ii) participated in the Voluntary Work Program1 at any point during their detention, or (iii) performed work for no compensation in the Uncompensated Work Program2 pending their participation in the Voluntary Work Program, or (iv) performed work for no compensation pursuant to the Adelanto Housing Unit Sanitation Policy.3
The Adelanto Forced Labor Class: All civil immigration detainees who were detained at the Adelanto ICE Processing Center any time since May 1, 2011, with the following subclasses: a) The Work Program Subclass: All individuals who participated in the Voluntary Work Program at any point during their detention; and (b) The Uncompensated Work Program Subclass: All individuals who participated in the Uncompensated Work Program at any point during their detention.
Plaintiffs in this lawsuit claim that GEO maintained a practice of wage theft, unjust enrichment, and forced labor. GEO denies the allegations made in the lawsuit and argues it has fully complied with the law. The Court has not decided whether GEO did anything wrong. There is no money available now, and there is no guarantee there will be. However, the legal rights of individuals in the Classes/Subclasses are affected and they have a choice to make now.
Affected individuals have a choice of whether to stay in the Classes/Subclasses or not, and this must be decided now. Affected individuals that stay in the Classes/Subclasses will be legally bound by all orders and judgments of the Court, and they won’t be able to sue, or continue to sue, GEO as part of any other lawsuit with the same claims. To stay in the Classes/Subclasses, affected individuals do not have to do anything now. If you choose to stay in the class action, you may also engage an attorney of your own choosing, but at your own expense.
Affected individuals who want to be excluded from the Classes/Subclasses will not get any money or benefits from this lawsuit, but they will keep their rights to sue GEO for the claims made in this lawsuit and will not be bound by any orders or judgments of the Court. To ask to be excluded, a letter must be sent to the address below, postmarked by December 22, 2020, requesting to be excluded from Novoa v. The GEO Group, Inc.:
GEO Adelanto Class Action Notice Administrator
c/o JND Legal Administration
P.O. Box 91350
Seattle, WA 98111
The Court appointed the law firms of Burns Charest LLP of Dallas, TX, the Law Office of R. Andrew Free of Nashville, TN, and Ahdoot and Wolfson, PC of Los Angeles, CA, to represent the Classes/Subclasses.
Toll-Free in U.S.: 1-888-383-0320
Toll-Free in Mexico: 1-800-062-4329
1 Plaintiffs allege that the “Voluntary Work Program” is the program GEO operates at Adelanto where detainees work as porters, janitors, kitchen workers, laundry workers, barbers, or in any other job in exchange for $1 per day.
2 Plaintiffs allege that the “Uncompensated Work Program” means GEO’s practice of hiring detainees to work as porters, janitors, kitchen workers, laundry workers, barbers, or in any other job outside their housing units for no money at all. Detained immigrants typically complete a Work Detail Application for a position in the Voluntary Work Program and must work for an arbitrary period of time—months, in some cases—for no compensation before they begin to receive $1 per day for their labor.
3 Plaintiffs allege that the “Housing Unit Sanitation Policy” is a program GEO operates at Adelanto where detainees clean and sanitize their housing units, dormitories, pods, showers, and common living areas for no compensation. If you were detained at Adelanto, you were part of the Housing Unit Sanitation Policy.
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