IF YOU WORKED IN THE VOLUNTARY WORK PROGRAM AT THE NORTHWEST DETENTION CENTER, A CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT MAY AFFECT YOUR RIGHTS.
What is this lawsuit about?
A lawsuit against The GEO Group, Inc. (“GEO”) has been certified as a class action by Judge Robert Bryan of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. The lawsuit is known as Nwauzor, et al. v. The GEO Group, Inc., No. 17-cv-05769. This lawsuit is about whether GEO, as the owner and operator of the Northwest Detention Center, is an "employer" and whether the Class Members are "employees" under the Washington Minimum Wage Act. And if so, whether GEO violated the Act by failing to pay Class Members the minimum hourly wage under Washington law for work performed under the $1-a-day Program. GEO denies the allegations made in the lawsuit.
Who is included?
Judge Bryan decided has decided that the following people are potential members of the class:
All civil immigration detainees who participated in the Voluntary Work Program at the Northwest Detention Center at any time between September 26, 2014, and the date of final judgment in this matter.
What are my options?
If you want to participate in the class action against GEO and you want to have the Class Representatives and Class Counsel represent your interests, you are not required to do anything at this time. If you choose to participate in the class action, you may also engage an attorney of your own choosing. However, if you want to be excluded from the lawsuit or file your own individual lawsuit, you must send a written notice to the Notice Administrator.
If you exclude yourself from the class action, you will not be affected or bound by any rulings, judgment, or settlement in the case. You will retain your rights under the law and are free to pursue any possible claims on your own. This also means that you will not share in any recovery that might be paid to class members as a result of this lawsuit. To ask to be excluded, send a letter to the address listed below, postmarked or submitted by March 24, 2020, requesting to be excluded from Nwauzor. et al. v. The Geo Group, Inc. You may also download, fill out, and submit the Request to be Excluded Form.