CA9 on FLSA, H-2A, Nevada: Rivera v. Peri & Sons Farms, Inc.

CA9 on FLSA, H-2A, Nevada: Rivera v. Peri & Sons Farms, Inc.

"In the face of regulatory ambiguity, the DOL’s determination that inbound travel and immigration expenses primarily benefit H-2A employers was reasonable. There is no reason to think that the DOL’s determination was not a product of its considered judgment. Although the DOL briefly changed its interpretation at one point in 2008, there is no indication that the change caused any unfair surprise for Peri & Sons.  Therefore, we defer to the DOL’s interpretation. The district court erred in ruling that Peri & Sons was not required to reimburse its employees during the first week of work for inbound travel and immigration expenses to the extent that such expenses lowered their compensation below the minimum wage. ... [W]e reverse the district court’s dismissal of the farmworkers’ FLSA claims to the extent that they accrued within three years of filing, reverse its dismissal of their breach of contract claims, affirm its dismissal of their claims under § 608.140, and reverse its dismissal of their other state statutory and constitutional claims to the extent that they accrued within two years of filing. We remand for proceedings not inconsistent with this opinion." - Rivera v. Peri & Sons Farms, Inc.