Restoring Liberty While Awaiting Justice

In this case, Towards Justice’s clients allege that bail bond sureties and some bail bond agents in California have colluded to keep bail premiums at the maximum level allowed by law. Every year, nearly one million people are arrested and taken into custody in California, and over 60% of people in California jails are there because they cannot afford to pay bail. For far too many people, the cost of a bail bond is the cost of liberty, and because of the alleged collusive practices, that cost is out of reach for many who might be able to afford a bail bond if the market were operating competitively.

Case Documents

Complaint

Press

1/29/2019 Bail companies in California have conspired to keep premiums high, lawsuit alleges

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Fighting Wage Suppression for Au Pairs: Beltran, et al v. Interexchange, Inc., et al

Towards Justice attacks systemic injustices that undermine the bargaining power and working conditions of marginalized workers. In 2014, Towards Justice filed a case on behalf of a nationwide class of tens of thousands of childcare workers who worked in the U.S. on J-1 au pair visas. They brought claims of price fixing, racketeering, and wage theft against fifteen U.S. Department of State-designated “cultural exchange” sponsor organizations. Plaintiffs charged that these sponsors acted as a cartel to illegally set au pair wages far below the market rate and that some sponsors fraudulently misled potential au pairs in violation of racketeering and consumer protection laws. The plaintiffs prevailed on several threshold legal issues and certified a class of tens of thousands. On the eve of trial, the plaintiffs announced that they had entered into a settlement with the defendants that would require the payment of $65.6 million in damages and several changes in the industry. Towards Justice represents the plaintiffs with co-counsel Boies Schiller & Flexner LLP. In 2019, the Court preliminarily approved a settlement.

For more information about the proposed settlement or if you are a class member, please refer to the website aupairclassaction.com

Case Documents

Magistrate Recommendation re: Motion to Dismiss

Order Denying Motion to Dismiss

Class Certification Order

Motion for Preliminary Approval

 

Press Release

 

3/19/2015 Vulnerable Child Care Workers Sue for Collusion and Fraud in Nationwide Au Pair Program

Press

3/7/2019 $65.5M au pair settlement in Denver lawsuit would be divided up under formula

1/10/2019 $65.5 M au pair deal would be divided up under formula

1/9/2019 Thousands of au pairs could share in $65.5 million U.S. settlement

1/9/2019 Au pairs win $65.5 million settlement in Denver lawsuit

1/9/2019 Au Pairs Reach $65.5 Million Settlement Over Wages

1/9/2019 Au Pair Sponsor Agencies Settle Wage Lawsuit, Offer $65.5 Million In Back Pay

8/28/2018 Long Hours, Low Wages and Lawsuits Plague the Federal Au Pair Program

3/30/2018 Au Pairs, an International Class of Domestic Workers, Are Suing for Labor Protections 

2/13/2018 Au Pair Class Action Could Upend Decades-Old Program

3/31/2017 Au Pairs Get Conditional Cert. In Wage-Fixing Action

11/5/2016 Host of problems

11/3/2016 Are au pairs cultural ambassadors or low-wage nannies? A lawsuit enters the fray

7/28/2015 This lawsuit over au pair wages is hardly child’s play

7/25/2015 Can Au Pairs Legally Be Paid Less Than $5 An Hour?

7/14/2015 Au pairs backed by Boies Schiller move to keep antitrust case alive

7/13/2015 Au Pairs Fight To Keep Wage-Fixing Class Action Alive

7/13/2015 Au pairs claim price fixing, wage theft in suit filed in Colorado; local group among those named

7/6/2015 Au pairs with J-1 visas sue sponsor agencies

4/20/2015 Au Pair Companies Want Out Of J-1 Visa Wage-Fixing Suit

3/20/2015 Au pairs provide cheap childcare. Maybe illegally cheap.

3/20/2015 Class Action Lawsuit Alleges Criminally Low Pay For Colorado Domestic Workers

3/7/2015 AU PAIRS AND MASSACHUSETTS LABOR LAW: CULTURAL EXCHANGE OR EXPLOITATION?

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Fighting Wage Suppression in the Fast Food Industry: Bautista et al v. Carl Karcher Enterprises LLC

Towards Justice combats anticompetitive practices that undermine worker power. In 2017, Towards Justice filed a lawsuit in California on behalf of current and former employees of Carl’s Jr. restaurants alleging that Carl’s Jr. and its franchisor CKE engaged in a conspiracy to suppress the wages and working conditions of the restaurant-based managers who run hundreds of Carl’s Jr. restaurants across the state by agreeing with each other not to hire each other’s workers. They did this even though CKE insisted that it didn’t employ people who worked for franchisees, and instead that franchisees were independent businesses. Our case drew public attention to this issue and helped to initiate public and private enforcement actions around the country. Towards Justice represented the plaintiffs with co-counsel Cuneo Gilbert & LaDuca, LLP and Tostrud Law Group PC.

Case Documents

Complaint

Response to Motion to Dismiss

Press Release

2/8/2017 Fast Food Workers Allege the Market is Rigged: “No Hire” Agreements Undermine Wages and Wokring Conditions at Carl’s Jr., a CKE Franchise

Press

2/28/2018 Corporate America Is Suppressing Wages for Many Workers

3/22/2017 Lawsuit: Carl’s Jr. Blocked Managers From Accepting Jobs With Other Franchisees

2/10/2017 Labor Secretary Nominee’s Company Hit With Antitrust Class Action 

2/9/2017 Carl’s Jr. Shift Leader Say CKE Restaurants Suppresses Wages

2/9/2017 Employees file antitrust class action against Puzder’s CKE Restaurants

2/8/2017 Suit against Carl’s Jr. parent company alleges unfair business practice to suppress wages

2/8/2017 CKE Restaurants Hit With Antitrust Class Action

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Combatting Wage Suppression in the Sheep Ranching Industry: Llacua et al. v. Western Range Association et al

Towards Justice attacks impediments to competitive labor markets that should allow workers, including the most marginalized and underpaid, to shop between employers for a better deal. We represent shepherds in a class action lawsuit alleging that ranchers across the Western United States colluded to depress shepherd wages, illegally deducted expenses from their meager paychecks, and misled state and federal governments in a pattern of racketeering activity. Our clients allege that ranches hired their shepherds through an association constituted by competing ranches. In doing so, they sharply limited competition for shepherds and effectively fixed wages at the minimum allowable by law.

Case Documents

Tenth Circuit Brief

Press Releases

9/1/2015 Shepherds Allege that an Antitrust Conspiracy Has Kept Them Below the Poverty Line

Press

9/2/2015 Lawsuit: Western sheep operators colluded against workers

9/2/2015 Peruvian shepherds claim wage fixing in U.S. sheep industry: lawsuit

9/1/2015 Workers Say Sheep Ranchers, Ranching Groups Fixing Wages

Spanish Language Press

11/16/2015 Cautiverio En Las Rocallosas, Parte 1

11/9/2015 Pastores de ovejas en la miseria tras venir como trabajodres huéspedes

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In The Courtroom

Our litigators help workers advance legal claims that address systemic injustice. We use antitrust, anti-slavery, fraud, wage-and-hour, and common-law challenges to address the wide variety of practices that nickel-and-dime low-wage workers out of their hard-earned wages. We have represented a hundred thousand childcare workers alleging wage suppression, tens of thousands of immigrant detainees alleging forced labor, and hundreds of construction workers, shepherds, manicurists, janitors, and kitchen hood cleaners. We are leaders in challenging anti-competitive practices that reduce worker bargaining power and support marginalized people who challenge structural impediments to their advancement.

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