On Friday, the Eleventh Circuit upheld an order certifying a class of guestworkers who alleged violations of the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (AWPA). The guestworkers — from Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico — sought actual and statutory damages from Eller and Sons Trees, which employed them to plant trees in the southern United States under the H2-B non-immigrant visa program. The court rejected arguments that the AWPA claims duplicated claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act, that taking the fifth in depositions made the individual plaintiffs inadequate class representatives, and that invidual issues regarding work hours and conditions predominated over common issues under Rule 23(b)(3). Leon-Granados v. Eller & Sons Trees, Inc., No. 06-15876 (11th Cir. Aug. 31, 2007).
Blawgletter can’t wait to hear Lou Dobbs fuss and fume about a guestworker class action.