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Menocal v. The Geo Group, Inc.

This class action lawsuit was brought on behalf of current and former detainees held at the Aurora Detention Facility, a detention center owned and operated by defendant The GEO Group, Inc. that houses detained immigrants. The district court certified two classes: one alleging that GEO violated the Trafficking Victims Protection Act by forcing detainees to clean its facilities or face steep sanctions, and the other alleging that GEO violated Colorado’s unjust enrichment doctrine by paying participants in its Voluntary Work Program only $1 per day for all hours worked.  GEO petitioned the Tenth Circuit for review, and the Tenth Circuit granted the petition.

On behalf of Public Citizen and the National Employment Law Project, we filed an amicus brief in support of the plaintiffs on appeal. Our brief explained that this case is the type of case for which class actions were designed, and that the district court correctly concluded that Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23’s commonality, typicality, predominance, and superiority requirements were met as to each of the two classes.  On February 9, 2018, the Tenth Circuit affirmed the district court’s certification of both classes.