Not a Lexis+ subscriber? Try it out for free.

Immigration Law

J-1 Au Pairs Win Class Certification in Wage Suit (Beltran v. Interexchange)

Tiffany Hu, Law360, Feb. 2, 2018 - "A Colorado federal judge on Friday partially granted class certification to more than 91,000 au pairs alleging that multiple sponsor agencies colluded to set low pay rates, finding that of the proposed classes, only a nationwide one asserting state law claims failed to meet the typicality requirement. Although U.S. District Judge Christine M. Arguello certified most of the proposed classes and subclasses in the Friday order, she denied class certification for a proposed nationwide class of all au pairs “asserting state law claims against certain defendants,” saying the named plaintiffs in that proposed class lacked Article III standing to assert claims under state laws in which they did not “work, live, or reside.” “Though this court sympathizes with low-wage, immigrant workers — including au pairs employed pursuant to a J-1 visa — who may face real risks in pursuing wage-and-hour claims and, thus, may benefit from an opt-out action certified under Rule 23, the court is bound by the Tenth Circuit’s holding in Rector v. City and County of Denver,” Judge Arguello said, citing a 2003 decision that held that class representatives who did not have standing to pursue class claims failed to meet the typicality requirement. Among the other proposed classes of au pairs Judge Arguello certified on Friday were two national classes of all au pairs who were sponsored by any defendant — including the agencies who colluded in the “same purported overall fraud” — to work in the U.S. pursuant to a J-1 visa; national classes against the defendants who require au pairs to attend unpaid training in specific states; and national and state-specific classes asserting state law claims. In doing so, the judge rejected arguments that the individual au pairs’ work conditions were “unique,” finding that the “core” of each claim remained the same for all au pairs in the classes she certified, thus satisfying the typicality requirement."